Happiness at work – positive organisations

Happiness at work – positive organisations

Morale, Change, and Positive Organizations

By Dave Shearon

Positive Psychology News Daily

July 17, 2008

Dave Shearon, MAPP, applies positive psychology to both law and education. Dave writes articles about applications of Positive Psychology to law and education at his site.

This article is about morale and organizations helping us change for the better. Have you got any stories about great morale in an organization and its effect on the members? Maybe how a terrific leader or group response to a challenge improved morale? Let’s hear your story!

Christopher Peterson, a faculty member for the MAPP program, his research partner Nansook Park, and Patrick Sweeney of the United States Military Academy have published “Group Well-Being: Morale from a Positive Psychology Perspective” in Applied Psychology: An International Review. They note that the study of institutions that enable those things that make life worth living is “the acknowledged weak link of positive psychology” and suggest that research on “morale” as a group level construct can move the field forward in this area. Since I am working now on a 90-minute presentation I will give at the 1L orientations of two law schools in Tennessee in August, this article connects my thoughts both on organizations and on initiating and facilitating individual change and growth.

The authors suggest that morale is both an individual and a group construct and should be studied at both levels with methodologically independent measures. Peterson et al. note that positive psychology has made progress in studying other ordinary language concepts by articulating their dimensions and devising separate measures for them, e.g., happiness includes dimensions of pleasure, engagement, and meaning. The components they suggest for morale are:



Optimism (both future expectations and explanatory style)

Belief in capabilities



Mutual trust and respect


Social Cohesion – friends at work

Common purpose



Compelling group history


Sense of moral rightness

To read the full happiness at work article – click here