Positive Organizational Scholarship and Positive Psychology: New Frontiers in the Study of Human Flourishing at Work Wednesdays, 1 pm 4 pm

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Positive Organizing and Human Flourishing
PSYCH 808.006 MO899
Positive Organizational Scholarship and Positive Psychology:

New Frontiers in the Study of Human Flourishing at Work
Wednesdays, 1 PM - 4 PM

Room P1004

Note: we will have class on October 19th (the Business school fall break)

Class on December 7th will run 4 hours (1-5PM)
This course invites students to explore the opportunities presented by two vibrant and emerging fields: Positive Psychology and Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS).
Positive Psychology is a movement that challenges the field of psychology to reconsider the positive aspects of life. Instead of drawing exclusively from a “disease model,” it encourages research on strengths as well as weaknesses, on building the best things in life as well as on repairing the worst, and on making the lives of normal people fulfilling as well as on healing pathology. Topics of study include happiness, positive emotions, resilience, creativity, finding meaning, and optimism. One basic premise of positive psychology is that human flourishing – a life rich in purpose, relationships, and enjoyment -- will not result simply by curing pathology and eliminating behavioral and emotional problems. Rather, flourishing requires building and capitalizing on human strengths and capacities.
Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) investigates collective and emergent processes of optimal functioning, at the levels of individuals in organizations, groups in organizations, and organizations as a whole. POS focuses on the generative dynamics in organizing that enable individual and collective resilience, thriving, creativity, compassion and other indicators of human flourishing. POS is premised on the belief that enabling human flourishing in organizations involves unlocking or building potential resources, capabilities and capacities in people, groups and systems. The focus on generative dynamics leads researchers to consider the role of positive emotions, positive meaning, and positive relationships, among other mechanisms as keys to explaining human and collective flourishing. POS does not adopt one particular theory or framework, but, instead, draws from the full spectrum of organizational theories.
This course will challenge students to engage with the core topics and foundational theories of both POS and positive psychology, and to investigate their interface. Coursework will involve reading, group exercises, and personal reflections. The seminar will draw from the wealth of local resources at the University of Michigan, a founding center of POS and a leader in the positive psychology movement.
It is important that the students who take this course understand that we are embarking on an adventure into the co-creation of knowledge. POS and positive psychology are young disciplines, with new ideas and connections waiting to be discovered. We will be trying out new ideas, pushing ourselves with questions, and challenging each other to find, co-create and disseminate new knowledge. All students entering this course should chose to take it with this spirit of adventure and exploration. Our hope is that as you learn about these academic topics, you will also learn about how to optimize your own health and happiness and that of the communities and organizations around you.

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