Kim S. Cameron and Gretchen M. Spreitzer

in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199734610
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology


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The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship synthesizes much of the knowledge that has been generated after approximately ten years of research in the area of study called Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS). The Handbook identifies what is known, what is not known, and what is in need of further investigation going forward. The Handbook clarifies the definition and domain of POS, takes special care to define what is and is not meant by the term “positive,” describes the history and development of this area of scientific inquiry, and explains why research in POS is so important as a scientific endeavor.

Positive organizational scholarship rigorously seeks to understand what represents the best of the human condition based on scholarly research and theory. Just as positive psychology focuses on exploring optimal individual psychological states rather than pathological ones, organizational scholarship focuses attention on the generative dynamics in organizations that lead to the development of human strength, foster resiliency in employees, enable healing and restoration, and cultivate extraordinary individual and organizational performance. POS emphasizes what elevates individuals and organizations (in addition to what challenges them), what goes right in organizations (in addition to what goes wrong), what is life-giving (in addition to what is problematic or life-depleting), what is experienced as good (in addition to what is objectionable), and what is inspiring (in addition to what is difficult or arduous). While note ignoring dysfunctional or typical patterns of behavior, examines the enablers, motivations, and effects associated with remarkably positive phenomena—how they are facilitated, why they work, how they can be identified, and how organizations can capitalize on them. The Handbook is intended to be the “go-to” place for scholars and others interested in learning about POS.

Keywords: Positive Organizational Scholarship; positive; POS; POS history; POS domain; positive organizational psychology

Article.  10192 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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