Posttraumatic Growth at Work

Posted: 9 Mar 2020

See all articles by Sally Maitlis

Sally Maitlis

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Date Written: January 2020


The phenomenon of posttraumatic growth—the transformative positive change that can occur as a result of a struggle with great adversity—has been a focus of interest for psychologists for more than two decades. Research on work-related posttraumatic growth has concentrated primarily on contexts that are inherently traumatic, either through direct exposure to trauma, such as in the military, or through secondary trauma, such as in professions that provide care for traumatized others. There is also an emerging literature on posttraumatic growth in “ordinary” work. Organized into seven sections, this review draws on the research on posttraumatic growth in response to both personal and work-based adversity to build a model of work-related posttraumatic growth. Later sections raise challenges in the study of posttraumatic growth at work and identify critical future research directions. Practical implications for organizations and their members are considered throughout the review and are summarized at the end.

Suggested Citation

Maitlis, Sally, Posttraumatic Growth at Work (January 2020). Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, Vol. 7, Issue 1, pp. 395-419, 2020, Available at SSRN: or

Sally Maitlis (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

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