Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Happiness and Job Satisfaction: An Empirical Study in Public Sector Undertaking

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Happiness and Job Satisfaction: An Empirical Study in Public Sector Undertaking

Article excerpt

Indian society is largely dependent on the growth of the organization which subsequently triggers the growth of the economy of the nation. It is undisputed fact that the "M" factor (i.e., man) has become the most important for the society as well as for the economy. Both values and attitudes as well as behavior of a person influence the work setting and productivity. Studies have strengthened the notion that positive affective experience improve a person's job satisfaction and performance (Luthans, 2010).

In 1998 Martin Seligman and colleagues initiated the positive psychological movement which originated the positive organizational behavior. Positive psychology aims to shift the focus in psychology from dysfunctional mental illness to mental health, calling for an increased focus on the building of human strength. The level of analysis of positive psychology have been summarized to be at the subjective level (i.e., positive subjective experience such as well-being & contentment with the past, flow & happiness in the present & hope and optimism into the future); the micro individual level (i.e., positive traits such as the capacity for love, courage, aesthetic sensibility, perseverance, forgiveness, spirituality, high talent & wisdom); and the macro group and institutional level (i.e., positive civic virtues & the institutions that move individuals toward better citizenship such as responsibility, altruism, civility, moderation, tolerance & a strong work ethic).

By integrating positive psychological behavior to organizational setting, Fred Luthans has pioneered the positive organizational behavior research in 1999. Since then, Luthans and colleagues have been attempting to find ways of designing work settings that emphasize people's strengths, where they can be both their best selves and at their best with each other.

It is found by research that employees with greater level of happiness perform better than employees who possess low level of the same. This difference in performance can be explained by psychological constructs that manifest themselves in their cognitions and motivations. Following the lead of positive psychology, that is, "what is good about life is as genuine as what is bad and therefore deserves equal attention" (Peterson, 2006, 4); it is the recently emerging field of positive organizational behaviour, or simply POB. Just as positive psychology does not claim to have discovered the importance of positivity to people, POB also recognizes that over the years there have been many positive constructs in organizational research such as positive effectivity (PA), positive reinforcement, procedural justice, job satisfaction and commitment, pro-social and organizational citizenship behaviours, core self-evaluations, and many others. Instead, positive psychology, and now its application to the workplace as POB, simply attempts to give a renewed emphasis to the importance of a positive approach.

Despite initial studies and conceptualizations, the field of positive organizational behavior is still in its infancy. Further research regarding precise antecedents, processes and consequences of positive psychological behavior is needed. The challenge currently awaiting positive organizational behavior is to bring about a more profound understanding of the real impact of positive states for organizational functioning and how these states can be enhanced within the work place.

The happy-productive worker hypothesis has most often been examined in organizational research by correlating job satisfaction to performance. Recent research has expanded this to include measures of psychological well-being. However, to date, no field research has provided a comparative test of the relative contribution of job satisfaction and psychological well-being as predictors of employee performance.

An overview of literature

Positive organizational behavior is defined as the study and application of positively oriented human resource strengths and psychological capacities that can be measured, developed and effectively managed for performance improvement in today's work place (Luthans, 2010). …

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