Academic journal article Journal of Positive Management

Towards the Integrated Concept and Measurement of Organizational Positivity

Academic journal article Journal of Positive Management

Towards the Integrated Concept and Measurement of Organizational Positivity

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

During last ten years Positive Organizational Scholarship has grown rapidly. Many papers in this field were published in leading journals (Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal), also some important books were published. Even though the field approaches maturity, it is still something that Cameron and colleagues (2003) describe as "umbrella project" that includes many various issues from different levels of analysis and different places in organizational and meta-organizational life. I argue that there is a need of robust conceptualization and operationalization of positive phenomena at organizational level. This kind of concept will not only allow to measure organizational positivity but also will facilitate further research on the antecedents and consequences of positivity in organizations.

The objective of the paper is to conceptualize and operationalize the positive orientation. To achieve this I use the concept of orientation as a underlying philosophy and concept of organizational alignment as underlying structure. I then conceptually fill the dimensions of positive orientation with content and finally test empirically the conceptual model in the process of quantitative empirical research carried out on the sample of 379 randomly sampled organizations using exploratory factor analysis and reliability analysis. The following parts of the paper present the structure of organizational phenomena, the philosophy of orientations at organizational level, the content of dimensions of positive orientation, research design and methodology, research results and conclusions.

2. Structure of organizational phenomena

Cameron and Spreitzer (2012) present the areas of interest of POS aligned in nine categories (Table 1). It is quite clear that the scope of interest is very wide, covering all levels of SOGI model: individual (psychological capital, prosocial motivation, callings at work, work engagement, positive identity, proactivity, creativity, curiosity, positive energy, positive emotions, subjective well-being, passion, socioemotional intelligence), group (group emotions, justice, high- quality connections, relational coordination, reciprocity, intimacy, civility, trust, trustworthiness, humor, psychological safety), organizational (career development, mentoring, socialization, diversity, communication, conflict resolution, negotiating, the design of work, mindful organizing, goal attainment, organizational identity, organizational energy, innovation) and societal (economic models, social movements, international peacemaking). There is, however, little structure in that wide repertoire of positive phenomena.

Another approach to the structure of positive phenomena was presented in the early years of POS by Cameron and colleagues (2003) who align them according to causes, enablers and consequences of positivity at three levels of analysis (Table 2). That approach suggests that positivity works as a process in organizations, it is also clear that there may be some relations between levels of analysis, e.g., individual positive experiences and traits through positive organizational institutions may bring positive consequences at individual and organizational levels, that might also be reflected at societal level through accumulation of positivity over longer periods of time.

Perhaps the most comprehensive approach to POS so far was presented by Stankiewicz (2010). The presented model of Positive Organizational Capacity containing eight categories of intangible resources: strategy, structure, human resource management, knowledge and democratization of management, control, innovation, integration and identification with company and leadership. Despite the presented models there is still need for coherent conceptualization and operationalization of organizational positivity. This is also answer to a call to create new constructs in the field of POS, develop new measures, take the psychological capital and positive organizational behavior analysis to organizational level (Spreitzer and Cameron, 2012; Youssef and Luthans, 2012). …

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