How Do Positive Acts Influence Success at Work? A Case Study of Enterprise Leaders’ and Employees’ Perceptions of Success

By Satu Uusiautti.

Published by Organizational Cultures: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: September 3, 2016 $US5.00

Recent studies have emphasized the meaning of positive experiences at work as well-being and efficiency-producing elements of organizational life. In this study, the phenomenon of success at work was studied as the combination of well-being and productivity at work in an enterprise context. The purpose was to find out how the leaders and supervisors of the target enterprise defined the elements of success and whether their perceptions were similar to those of the employees. The main purpose was to analyze those positive experiences at work that were connected to success among leaders and employees. The study was a continuum of the author’s earlier research on the psychology of success at work. The target enterprise was a mid-size Finnish banking enterprise. The leaders and supervisors (N = 15) were interviewed with a qualitative themed interview method and the employees (N = 29) answered a qualitative questionnaire. The sets of data were analyzed with the qualitative content analyzing method. The main elements promoting success at work were open, fluent collaboration and good atmosphere at work, as well as clear rules at the workplace. Furthermore, mutual encouragement, rewards, and positive feedback were seen important not only in the leader-employee relationships but among employees as well. Successes, courage, and proactive attitude in individual employees were considered the main prerequisites of positive development and successful coping with changes in work whereas resistance, negative attitudes, and withdrawing from collaboration were reported as main hindrances of success. The theory of positive affect by Lyubomirsky and Della Porta (2010) was used for spotting positive activity connected to success at work.

Keywords: Success at Work, Positive Affect, Enterprise, Qualitative Research, Productivity, Well-being

Organizational Cultures: An International Journal, Volume 16, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.13-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: September 3, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 835.271KB)).

Dr. Satu Uusiautti

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland