Academic journal article ASBM Journal of Management

Measuring Happiness at Work Place

Academic journal article ASBM Journal of Management

Measuring Happiness at Work Place

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)


Historically, happiness Index is a numerical measure of the Gross National Happiness (GNH). This is an attempt to define quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than the Gross National Product (GNP). The term was coined by the former king of Bhutan King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 1972. While conventional development models stress economic growth as the ultimate objective, the concept of GNH claims to be based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other. The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.

Adrian White, an analytic social psychologist at the University's School of Psychology, analysed data published by UNESCO, the CIA, the New Economics Foundation, the WHO, the Veenhoven Database, the Latin barometer, the Afro barometer, and the UNHDR, to create a global projection of subjective well-being and developed the first world map of happiness in 2006. According to him, "The concept of happiness, or satisfaction with life, is currently a major area of research in economics and psychology, most closely associated with new developments in positive psychology. There is increasing political interest in using measures of happiness as a national indicator in conjunction with measures of wealth." In one of the recently conducted survey by the BBC it was found that 81 per cent of the population thinks the government should focus on making us happier rather than wealthier.

Using happiness indices for measuring subjective well-being is a well established technique now. However, use of happiness index for the measure of happiness at work place is not very frequent. The different aspects of the happiness index with little modification can be used for measuring job satisfaction as well. The paper develops a scale followed by an index that can be used to measure happiness of employees at work. To illustrate the index, two groups of teachers from government and private colleges were considered and considering their views on the scale the happiness indices were computed. On identification of the probability distribution of the index, it can be subjected to various statistical tests to draw valid inferences. The inferences may be useful for the employer to understand the mental well-being at work place.

The paper is divided into five sections. The second section provides a literature review on happiness index and different quantitative measures on the index. The third section has three parts. While the first part is dedicated to the development of the scale for measuring happiness index at workplace, the second section discusses the procedure of weighting the various types of wellness considered in the index and the third-sub section forward the proposed index. The next section is the illustrative part of the paper where the scale is implemented, its reliability is tested and the happiness indices are computed using the responses obtained from a sample of respondent. The distribution of the index is identified and inferences are drawn. The concluding section of the paper highlights some idea of future research in this field including further development in the index.

Review of Literature

A host of literature is available to establish the fact that happiness is a good predictor of subjective wellbeing and/ or overall life satisfaction. Mention can be made about the works of Graham (2008), Selim (2008), Borghesi and Vercelli (2007), Mahon et al. (2005), Layard (2006), Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000), Diener et al. (2002), Easterlin (2001) and Veenhoven (1993). Kahneman, and Riis (2005) find that the statistical association between happiness and subjective wellbeing was a strong one. …

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