1st Edition

Positive Organizational Behaviour A Reflective Approach

    570 Pages
    by Routledge

    570 Pages
    by Routledge

    Positive Organizational Behaviour: A Reflective Approach introduces the most recent theoretical and empirical insights on positive organizational practices, addressing emerging topics such as resilience, job crafting, responsible leadership and mindfulness. Other books on positive approaches tend to gloss over the limitations of the positive agenda, but this textbook is unique in taking a reflective approach, focussing on the positive while also accommodating critical perspectives relating to power and control.

    Positive Organizational Behaviour provides an integrated conceptual framework, evidence-based findings and practical tools to gain an understanding of the potential of positive organizational practices.

    This innovative new textbook will provide advanced management and psychology students with a grounding in the area, and help them develop strategies for building effective and responsible organizations.



    1. Positive organizations: the foundations

    2. Leveraging on individual strengths

    3. Psychological capital: the "HERO" effect

    4. Emotions and happiness at work

    5. Designing work for meaning, learning and health

    Positivity in collectives

    6. Generative interactions in organizations

    7. Real teams: supporting learning and change

    Building contexts

    8. Positive leadership: Humble, ethical, authentic, and servant

    9. Great workplaces

    10. Powering positivity

    11. The positive organization of progress


    12. The positive-negative dialectic


    Miguel Pina e Cunha is the Amélia de Mello Foundation Professor of Leadership at the Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.

    Arménio Rego is Professor at Católica Porto Business School, Portugal.

    Ace Volkmann Simpson is Reader in Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour at Brunel University, London, UK.

    Stewart Clegg is Professor in Management at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

    "This textbook is like no other. It provides a grounded, inspiring, easy-to-read and comprehensive approach to organizational behavior from a positive perspective. The book invites readers to engage in approaches to being an employee, manager or leader that take seriously the challenges of creating and building positive organizations or positive organizing that fosters employee flourishing, engagement, psychological safety, well-being and purpose beyond simply profit maximization. The textbook covers traditional topics such as teams, emotions, job design and leadership but covers them in a way that focuses on deepening understanding of how these topics constrain or enable processes of positive organizing. The textbook also addresses pivotal new subjects such as individual strengths, generative interactions, great workplaces, powering positivity and the positive organization of progress. The authors address these core ideas from an empowering, easy-to-understand, actionable perspective, while also addressing the complexities, paradoxes and trade-offs involved in a focus on a positive perspective. The textbook fosters understanding, constructive action and an expansion of our imagination around management as a force for good."

    Jane Dutton, Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Business Administration and Psychology, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

    "This is an especially insightful and engaging book on Positive Organizational Behavior. It is an ideal introduction for those scholars and students unfamiliar with POB and a splendid guide for managers who see their role not narrowly technically, nor merely as the "agents" of "principals", but as a force of positive change. Miguel Pina e Cunha, Arménio Rego, Ace Simpson and Stewart Clegg do not preach but invite the reader to think about ways of creating organizational contexts that bring out the best in people. Importantly, their good advice comes with a health warning: what is positive is not absolute, can be manipulated, and is dialectically related to the negative. If you care for a subtle, rigorous and utterly relevant argument, you will find it here."

    Haridimos Tsoukas, The Columbia Ship Management Professor of Strategic Management, University of Cyprus & Distinguished Research Environment Professor of Organization Behavior, Warwick Business School

    "Organizations dominate modern society, be it multinational corporations, government agencies or large non-profit organizations. They are capable of the best or the worst outcomes for clients, employees and other stakeholders. How can leaders ensure that their organizations are managed positively and deliver the best? This book is a tour de force on positive organizing, written by some of the best organizational scholars in the world. It will be an indispensable reference for organizational researchers and for thoughtful business leaders."

    Filipe Santos, Chaired Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Dean of CATÓLICA-LISBON School of Business & Economics


    "Positivity rooted in reality, recommendations anchored by science, this book marshals surprising stories and rigorous research to bring a fresh and hopeful view of what organizations can become".

    Bradley Owens, Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University


    "Enlightening, fulfilling, bringing new positivity concepts every organization should know of to overcome in an innovative way challenges, be more competitive while impacting positively human wellbeing."

    Leila Triki, Dean, Mediterranean School of Business, Tunis


    "This is one of those rare books that provides both scientific insight and practical relevance. It is an important contribution to our understanding of what makes good management in both its ethical and performance dimensions. In fact the book shows that one can support the other. A must for executives and scholars alike willing to make a real difference in the field of management."

    Milton Sousa, Associate Professor, Uiversidsade Nova de Lisboa

    "This book is a gift to both the scientific community and a wider audience. As far as I know, the research on the topic of positive management has not yet been translated into the format of a book aiming a wider and structured dissemination of that knowledge. Scholars, students, practitioners, citizens from all over the world should definitely fast-read this magnificent work."

    Miguel Pereira Lopes, associate Professor, ISCSP, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

    "This book effectively and comprehensively presents research on the "positive lens" – a lens focused on thriving and flourishing in organizations. I particularly value the discussion of positive leadership and the description of character strengths and virtues such as humility and authenticity. Without humility, without authenticity, and without the development of other strengths such as courage, humanity, and temperance, organizations cannot achieve sustainable excellence. This book will inspire many great conversations with leaders."

    Dusya Vera, Professor of Strategy, C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston, USA

    "This book outlines and extends the field of positive organization studies in a way that is accessible and hugely readable, yet rigorously detailed and nuanced. Full of pleasant surprises and riveting illustrations it brings the field alive to show the power of organizing in a way that promotes both human excellence and excellent performance, affirms strengths and emphasizes the good in the human condition. The duality of positivity and negatively weaves its way throughout this work and defines the authors approach and the book is hopeful and yet full of realism. A powerful and hugely enjoyable book that sets out an important research and teaching agenda."

    Dr Rebecca Bednarek Senior Lecturer, Victoria Business School, Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand


    "This is simply a superb textbook on positive organizational research. It covers a lot of ground without being superficial. It combines knowledge of historical roots with current practical advice and cases. It is accessible and written with an appealing light tone that brims with engagement. And the book takes steps towards something that is rare and much needed – the blending of positive and critical perspectives in our understanding of organizations as engaged in as engaged in the quest for human betterment."

    Arne Carlsen, Professor, BI Business School, Oslo, Norway


    "The authors have done a great job describing the essence of positive organizational behavior and its potential for building work places that are both admired and beneficial for the people working in it. I recommend this book for readers who like to get a contemporary overview of this field and its practical implications."

    Dirk van Dierendonck, PhD, Professor of HRM, Vice Dean of Faculty, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.

    "An alternative, engaging and provoking book about positive organizational scholarship research. It provides a reflective perspective on POS at individual, organizational and social level. Beautifully written, engaging, transformative"

    Antonino Vaccaro, Academic Director CBS-IESE Business School


    "Positivity is precious for people who seeks to perceive and manage contemporary organizations, often caught in the risks of linear, unidimensional and dichotomous thinking. This textbook aids, engages and fuels all of us in understanding how good, beautiful, complex and socially relevant the positive knowledge can be in practice. It’s pedagogically and conceptually brilliant!"

    Eduardo Davel, School of Management, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil

    "The book departs from the mere opposition of the ‘banality of evil’ and the (supposed) indispensable forces for ‘good management’. Later it soon moves away from such a simplistic approach and it presents a grand finale where positive and negative management are dialectically intertwined. To achieve that the authors acutely elaborate on the fundamental opposition lying at the very core of organization between humanistic and managerial approaches to to management and organization. An opposition that eventually mirrors the diversity of consideration about humans: are they people or resources? Or both? The book provides multiple answers at different levels of aggregation. As the authors brilliantly synthetize: "good management is much rarer than usually assumed!" Hence, works like that are to be spread in the managerial world! A must-read for Organization Studies scholars too!"

    Luca Giustiniano – Director of CLIO (Center for research in Leadership, Innovation and Organisation) – Luiss University – Italy.


    "An excellent and thoughtful research-oriented review of the positive organizational behavior literature. Key concepts, ideas, and studies are presented in an concise, creative, and organized way."

    Joana Story, Associate Professor, Fundação Getúlio Vargas, São Paulo, Brazil


    "This book places values and ethics where they should be in organizations – right in the center. Rather than assume that positive values and ethical beliefs are a nice addition to a profit seeking, efficiency oriented organization, Cunha, Rego, Simpson and Clegg offer us pragmatic, specific, and thoughtful advice about how to create organizations, institutions and civilizations founded on positive values and ethics. This should be the central textbook for all students of organizations, management and leadership."

    Wendy Smith, University of Delaware, USA


    "How pleasant it is to read a book that being ideological doesn’t disguise itself behind "irrefutable" theories describing "reality". Instead, it openly used ideology as a tool to sculpture an equally possible, albeit better, form of managing and organising. It’s theoretical acumen and powerful illustrations lend it both legitimacy and currency to become mandatory reading in the organisational behaviour field for students and managers alike. This is the kind of book that should, at least, complement more traditional perspectives, if not replace them, thus bending back double hermeneutics forces towards a better world."

    Nuno Guimaraes da Costa, Associate Dean, Faculty and Research, ICN Business School, France


    "This insightful and inspiring book examines the myriad ways in which organizations and their members can help make the world a better place. In an era where almost everything is viewed as "disruption", the authors successfully restore a more balanced and timely appreciation of how the good and bad intertwine in organizations as they do in life itself."

    Moshe Farjoun, Professor, York University, Canada


    "I am impressed with all dimensions of your book ( writing, reference base, comprehensive coverage and application examples). I know it will be successful."

    Fred Luthans, University of Nebraska


    "GEM Anscombe, in her landmark article "Modern Moral Philosophy" (1958) decried the lack of an appropriate psychology for the study of virtue to move forward. This present volume is a decisive contribution to this effort, particularly in the fields of business and organizations."

    Alejo José G. Sison, Universidad de Navarra, Spain

    "'Positive Organizational Behaviour' is a gift for anyone interested in positive organizational behaviour. This book is a compendium of theoretical and practical knowledge of workplace emotion, positive leadership styles, and many other exciting and new developments within the scholarship of positive organizational behaviour. Essential reading for any leader who wants to understand the impacts of positive organizational behaviour in the 21st century."

    YAM, Kai Chi Sam, NUS Business School, Singapore

    "The authors of Positive Organizational Behavior have produced a unique and endlessly fascinating approach to this subject, using vivid examples and an impressive array of sources to show how people can make a positive difference in organizations. The book will be an invaluable resource for students of management and organizations, and an inspiration to researchers who're seeking new and original insights. Professor Peter Fleming, University of Technology Sydney."

    Peter Flemming, Professor of Management, UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney


    "A marvelous, unique book! The first textbook in the flourishing field of Positive Organizational Scholarship, Positive Organizational Behavior: Management As a Force for Good makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of positive organizing. Sharing research across a vast range of core OB topics in a concise, accessible, and engaging way, it offers a wonderful resource both for students new to positive ways of organizing and for seasoned scholars alike. But what makes this book especially distinctive and refreshing is the lens through which this accomplished team of authors looks. Warning us against a naïve exaltation of the positive, Positive Organizational Behavior: Management As a Force for Good offers a reflective perspective that encourages us to appreciate the emancipatory potential of positive organizing while remaining alert to the shadow side of positivity. A must-have for all who research and teach about organizational behavior!"

    Sally Maitlis, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Leadership, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford