Well-Being and Beyond
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Well-Being and Beyond

Broadening the Public and Policy Discourse

Edited by Timo J. Hämäläinen and Juliet Michaelson

This book will broaden the public and policy discourse on the importance of well-being by examining psychological, social, environmental, economic, organizational, institutional and political determinants of individual well-being.
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Chapter 9: Well-being in organizations

Jill Flint-Taylor and Cary L. Cooper


For those in employment, the number of hours spent at work averages out at nearly 20 per cent of the total number of hours in the year (OECD 2013). The workplace is clearly one of the most important contexts to consider in any review of well-being research and practice. It is also a context in which many of the influences on individuals' well-being are in the hands of the organization they work for - with far-reaching implications for the broader lives of employees as well as their family and friends. So it is encouraging to see signs of recent progress in the way organizations approach the well-being of their employees. In this chapter, we explore these developments and the benefits of spreading them more widely, as well as the issues that remain to be addressed. We outline a research-based model to help guide the assessment and active management of well-being in organizations, and set this in the context of the need for a more holistic approach to well-being. As discussed elsewhere in the book, for example by John Helliwell (Chapter 5) and Timo Hämäläinen (Chapter 2), an integrated, coherent life experience is very much the ideal rather than the reality for most working people. For example, Helliwell and Huang (2010) found significant differences and tensions between measures of life satisfaction and job satisfaction within the same respondent group.

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