This article articulates how a positive lens contributes to organizational studies by stimulating novel research questions. We illuminate three key mechanisms of a positive lens—resource unlocking, capacity creating, and strength building—that foster flourishing individuals, teams, and organizations. Next, we highlight how three domains of organizational research—resources, learning, and ethics—provide useful examples of how drawing on these three mechanisms illuminates new research directions. In closing, we invite scholars to consider applying a positive lens to their own area of inquiry to bolster understanding of flourishing within and across organizations.
Citation Kim, S., Karlesky, M.J., Myers, C.G., & Schifeling, T. (2016, June). Why companies are becoming B Corporations. Harvard Business Review, Digital article. https://hbr.org/2016/06/why-companies-are-becoming-b-corporations/
Citation Myers, C.G. (2015, April). How riding in a helicopter taught me to make a positive difference through research. Michigan Ross Student Voices, Blog post. https://michiganross.umich.edu/student-voices-blog/2015/04/24/how-riding-helicopter-taught-me-make-positive-difference-through/
Summary As a PhD candidate at Ross, I have spent the last five years learning and working with faculty to produce cutting-edge research. This is true of most PhD programs at leading research universities like U-M, but what is unique about research at Michigan Ross – and what I will take with me from my time here – is that here, the emphasis is on research that makes a positive difference in the world of work.
Citation Myers, C.G. (2014, March). What’s positive about failure? Center for Positive Organizations, Blog post. http://positiveorgs.bus.umich.edu/blog/whats-positive-about-failure/
Revised and Reprinted: Myers, C.G. (2014, October). Finding the positives in your failures. Inc. http://www.inc.com/christopher-myers/finding-the-positives-in-your-failures.html
Summary “You work with the Center for Positive Organizations, but you’re doing an experiment where you make everyone fail?” This was a reaction I got one day when describing some of my research on how individuals learn from their failed experiences.
Citation Myers, C.G. (2014, February). Planes, pizza, and positive deviance. Center for Positive Organizations, Blog post. http://positiveorgs.bus.umich.edu/blog/planes-pizza-and-positive-deviance/
Summary I’m not a huge fan of surprises, particularly when I’m flying. I’m the guy who bookmarks the flight status page on his phone, only takes carry-on luggage, and still gets to the airport way too early. But on a recent trip home from a conference in Texas, the airport had a surprise in store for me that showed a great example of positive deviance – defined in research by CPO faculty Gretchen Spreitzer and Scott Sonenshein as an intentional behavior that departs from expectations or norms in an honorable way.