Work Performance and Satisfaction in Organizations: The Optimal Functioning Critical Set

By Henry Venter.

Published by Change Management: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 25, 2014 $US5.00

The study of individuals’ cognitive and emotional components that enable them to fully express their potentials has come to the forefront over the last years. It has led to the emergence of the field of positive psychology with a focus on individuals’ personal strengths and potential in the design of interventions to improve functioning. This positive orientation, empirically constituted by a combination of high self-esteem, life satisfaction, and optimism, falls under the umbrella of proximal functioning. A concept consistent with this focus is optimal functioning, which conveys the idea of a system, an organism, or individual that is working optimally; not only in terms of the results it produces, but also in terms of developmentally consequential qualities such as coherence, balance, and generativity. It has also been referred to in terms of context-specific flow, the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of a targeted activity in addition to being completely absorbed in the task. This paper presents a system of three steps to facilitate optimal functioning in organizations, namely the Optimal Functioning Critical Set, which aims to operationalize the abstract concepts of positive psychology and flow for use in organizational training on all levels.

Keywords: Practice Focus, Change Management, Positive Psychology, Flow, Optimal Functioning

Change Management: An International Journal, Volume 13, Issue 3, November 2014, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 25, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 545.940KB)).

Prof. Henry Venter

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, National University, Fresno, California, USA

Henry J. Venter Ph.D. is Associate Professor of psychology at National University, CA, USA. He is a licensed psychologist in California and presents nationally and internationally on issues of trauma and personal growth. This paper is based on a presentation by the author at the 13th International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organizations, Vancouver, Canada in June 2013.