Research Handbook on Work and Well-Being
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Research Handbook on Work and Well-Being

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Kathryn M. Page

Almost every person works at some point in their lives. The Research Handbook on Work and Well-Being examines the association of particular work experiences with employee and organizational health and performance.
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Chapter 2: The many ‘faces’ of well-being

Thomas A. Wright, Kyle J. Emich and Dorothy Klotz


Informed by both academic and non-academic sources, this chapter tackles the important task of providing added insight into the many ‘faces’ of well-being. As a first step, a historical discussion of how the rise of job ‘attitudes’, including concepts such as feelings, morale, monotony, tone, sentiments and well-being evolved in organizational research is considered. Our historical overview will provide the necessary contextual framework for better understanding the current definitional conundrum between well-being, ‘happiness’ and an ever-increasing number of supposedly related concepts. To that end and building upon prior research by Wright and his colleagues, the ‘faces’ framework is summarized to help provide a better understanding of the current state of the well-being literature. More specifically, our review highlights the importance of emotion-based conceptualizations of well-being, focusing more narrowly on what we term as psychological well-being, in organizational research. Finally, and building upon our overview, exciting avenues for future research endeavors on employee psychological well-being are suggested.

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