This chapter maps the expansion of positive psychology workplace training consultancies within the UK and their relationship to the field of organisational studies in the USA. The chapter outlines recent research advances in positive neuroscience and organisational neuroscience and traces their influence on a growing world of organisational management, leadership and HR approaches, Buddhist-derived mindfulness practices, self-help techniques and workplace wellbeing strategies. Psychometric testing, performance management, strengths-based self-assessment and emotional management have become de rigeur in workplace settings, but rarely does analysis of these work-based practices appreciate the governmental logics associated with orchestrating positive affects. When viewed as part of a broader happiness agenda in public policy, the political and economic rationalities of such workplace training programmes becomes clearer. The chapter examines how the scientific credentials and business rationales of positive psychology in the workplace share a specific history. This co-evolution of knowledge and practice enables practitioners and consultants to provide evidence-based promises to do ‘less with more’ in a difficult economic climate.
Keywords: emotional labour; happiness; mindfulness; organisational neuroscience; positive neuroscience; positive psychology; workplace wellbeing
Chapter. 12145 words.
Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change
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