Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

The Relation between Happiness, Resilience and Quality of Work Life and Effectiveness of a Web-Based Intervention at Workplace: A Pilot Study

Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

The Relation between Happiness, Resilience and Quality of Work Life and Effectiveness of a Web-Based Intervention at Workplace: A Pilot Study

Article excerpt


"Right in this moment, I can't even remember what unhappy feels like."

- Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1).

We all aspire to experience such moments more often in our lives. The quest for being truly happy and contended has been one of the central goals of all human endeavors. Yet, today's workplaces are far from being joyous places due to presence of variety of stressors, cut throat competition, closed windows and formal communication patterns devoid of any humane connections. In such scenarios I/O psychologists have mostly focused on improving job satisfaction, work motivation, employee morale but somehow they looked at employees from the deficit perspective. Now with the advent of positive psychology and positive organization behavior, there has been a trend towards understanding the role of positive emotions at work place and study its implications for human life. This research is a step in that direction.

Research review indicates that happiness has become as important as success or performance itself. The meta-analysis done by Lyubomirsky, King, and Diener (2005) examined 225 cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental studies and found happiness to be related to success in multiple life domains .This review found happiness to be associated with relatively stronger social relationships, superior work outcomes, more activity, energy, flow and good coping abilities. Through their efforts Lyobomirsky et al. (2005) integrated previous research on well-being into a single conceptual model. According to them a person's chronic happiness level is determined by three factors: a genetically based happiness set point (50% of the individual differences in chronic happiness), life circumstances that affect happiness (10%), and intentional activities and practices (the remaining 40%).

The above view of Happiness is Western in its orientation. In the Indian tradition happiness is seen either as a consequence of person factors like good intelligence- dharma buddhi (Srivastava, Sibia and Misra, 2008) or the spiritual wisdom of Indian philosophy points to happiness as Anandamay Kosh, that is being eternally and unconditionally happy and satisfied irrespective of internal or external limitation (Banth and Talwar, 2012) . It speaks of pure happiness that comes not from luxury or success but from experiences of nature, a baby's smile and so forth. The present research uses this concept of happiness to devise stimuli for a web based intervention at work-place. Such attempts to enhance positive emotions have been done earlier by Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, and Schkade (2005). In their two 6-week-long experiments, participants were asked to either 'count five blessings during the week' or to 'commit five acts of kindness during the week'. The 'acts of kindness' experiment included an additional factor - namely, 'spread the five acts out over the week' or 'commit all five acts in the same day'. Committing all five acts on the same day produced a measurable increase in longitudinal SWB, whereas spreading them out did not.

As reported earlier, Happiness can be seen to influence many an important outcomes like performance (Kaura, 2013) including quality of work life. The link between happiness and quality of work life can be explained by the development of resilience. This assumption comes from the influential theory put forth by Fredrickson (2011).The Broaden and build theory states that positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and cognition, and, by consequence, initiate upward spirals toward increasing emotional well-being. The theory hypothesizes that positive emotions help people build lasting resources. To test this hypothesis, Fredrickson et al. (2011) measured emotions daily for 1 month in a sample of 86 students and assessed life satisfaction and trait resilience at the beginning and end of the month. Positive emotions predicted increases in both resilience and life satisfaction. …

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