How Can We Manage to Be Happy?

By John Hasselberg.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Management bridges people, enabling us to build sustainable organizations and societies that foster human flourishing. Surveys have consistently shown that Danes are the happiest workers in the world. The Bhutanese prefer to see their country judged by how high they are on a Gross National Happiness index rather than a Gross National Product index. Their approach to defining sustainable societal wealth is gaining interest internationally. To what can we attribute so much happiness in two such disparate parts of the world, and what can we learn from them? This paper explores what happiness is and how conceptions of it and frameworks for it have evolved. It addresses what it means to find joy in our work and management’s responsibility to help those whose work we are responsible for coordinating to find it. To do so it integrates cultural comparisons and organizational, theoretical and applied frameworks involved in fostering such a shift. In particular it emphasizes the earlier work of Mary Parker Follett, Peter Drucker, W. Edwards Deming and Abraham Maslow, along with the contemporary “Appreciative Inquiry” work of David Cooperrider, Suresh Shrivastva and colleagues.

Keywords: Management, Organization Theory, Comparative Cultures, Happiness

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp.317-338. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 909.676KB).

John Hasselberg

Associate Professor, Management/Global Business Leadership, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Associate Professor, Global Business Leadership, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN, USA. Juris Doctor, University of Minnesota, 1985; Master of Business Administration, University of Minnesota, 1986; Bachelor of Arts, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1981; Fulbright Research/Teaching Fellowship to Sweden, fall 2009: Project Title: “Liberal Education, Collaboration and Sustainable Community Development on Gotland”; Research interests: Cultural and ethical dimensions of international organizational strategy; Paper examples: “Management of Management in a Wobegon World”; “The Tao of Lagom: A Middle Way for the Middle Kingdom”; “Liberal Education, Collaboration and Sustainable Community Development”; “How Can We Manage to Be Happy?”; In process: “The Art of Liberal Education: Att Inspirera Levnadskonstnärer; Directed numerous faculty and student study/ travel visits to Europe and East Asia.


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