The role of positive-based research in building the science of organizational behavior

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Abstract

The role of the positive organizational movement continues to garner significant attention in the applied sciences. Using Kipling's “six honest serving men” framework (What, Why, When, How, Where, and Who), we discuss six potential challenges and opportunities facing the positive organizational movement. First, we review what constitutes the realm of positive behavior. Next, we discuss why an awareness of the holistic model is highly germane to any discussion of the positive organizational movement. Third, and addressing a key methodological issue confronting the positive movement, we examine when a “trait” is really a trait. Fourth, how we study what we study is examined. Fifth, where the positive movement can best contribute to employee betterment is introduced. Finally, we close with a discussion of just who really benefit from our research. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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