Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1979829
 
 

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Happiness in the Workplace: Employees Who Focus on Maximizing Happiness Become Happier


Kelly Goldsmith


Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

David Gal


Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

Rajagopal Raghunathan


University of Texas at Austin - Red McCombs School of Business

Lauren Cheatham


Northwestern University

August 18, 2013


Abstract:     
The pursuit of happiness has preoccupied philosophers, psychologists, and economists, amongst others. Recently, it has been investigated empirically, with results appearing to support the perspective that explicitly focusing on happiness is counterproductive. However, these investigations have been correlational or involved participants being asked to maximize or monitor their momentary happiness in laboratory settings involving fixed tasks. The current research uses a sample of working adults drawn from a national participant pool and a sample of management-level employees from large U.S. based firms in order to examine whether focusing on one’s happiness can increase happiness levels over a longer time horizon, and in a work environment. We find consistent support for the proposition that employees’ happiness improves when they focus on maximizing their happiness, as compared to other conditions. The effect appears to arise because focusing on maximizing one’s happiness leads to happiness-consistent behavioral changes. We conclude with a discussion of the managerial implications for these findings.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: happiness, intervention, well-being, field study, workplace

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Date posted: January 5, 2012 ; Last revised: August 20, 2013

Suggested Citation

Goldsmith, Kelly and Gal, David and Raghunathan, Rajagopal and Cheatham, Lauren, Happiness in the Workplace: Employees Who Focus on Maximizing Happiness Become Happier (August 18, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1979829 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1979829

Contact Information

Kelly Goldsmith (Contact Author)
Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/goldsmith/htm/
David Gal
Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
Rajagopal Raghunathan
University of Texas at Austin - Red McCombs School of Business ( email )
Austin, TX 78712
United States
Lauren Cheatham
Northwestern University ( email )
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
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