Kim Cameron: Positive Organizational Scholarship
Positive Psychology is an important component of modern workplace thinking. And Kim Cameron has been at the forefront of making it into a powerful force in organizational thinking, referring to it in this context as ‘Positive Organizational Scholarship’.
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THE NATURE OF ORGANIZATIONS
This video is part of course module number 6.1.5
Program 6: Managing within Organizations
Course 1: The Nature of Organizations
Section 5: Masters of Organizations
Other videos in this section include:
🎬 Max Weber: The Father of Organizational Theory https://youtu.be/dAsiS_ignIQ
🎬 Chester Barnard: Organizations as Networks of People https://youtu.be/UVi5iI6N8UM
🎬 Harold Geneen: Data-driven Charismatic Organization https://youtu.be/QrF82M9aVQc
🎬 Edgar Schein: The Master of Organizational Culture https://youtu.be/TMqTN4fGb1k
🎬 Charles Handy: Philosopher of Organizations https://youtu.be/kCkXc-hPsbg
Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) is the study of what makes members of an organization perform at their best levels, by focusing on what they do well.
Positive Organizational Scholarship brings together many strands of research and thinking:
• Organizational Design (OD)
• Positive Psychology
• Optimism and hope
• Positive Deviance
• Appreciative Inquiry (AI)
• Citizenship behaviors and community psychology
• Ethics and prosocial behavior
Together, these topics address ways to harness and develop human strengths in an organizational setting.
Some Concepts in Positive Organizational Scholarship
The norm represents the organization’s ‘average’ performance. Negative deviance is under-performance or damaging behavior. Positive deviance is better than average performance. The unintended consequence of eliminating deviance is to suppress positive deviance. Flourishing organizations look for examples of positive deviance, to encourage them and find ways to embed the practices into a new, better norm.
When we apply our strengths, we maximize satisfaction. Learning new skills that play to our strengths builds talents. So, we feel a drive to practice and develop them further. The Talent Equation:
Strength + Skill = Talent
In flourishing organizations, leaders try to make virtuous choices. These are options they hope will benefit people. The culture needs to make this possible and encourage it. Systematic virtuousness results in happy workers who don’t fear mindless rules and feel gratitude.
You’ll hear comments that are both affirmative or denying of other people’s points of view, ideas, and contributions. If we bias our comments towards the positive end of the spectrum, it can create positive emotional states in people, which helps the organization flourish. Research suffers from small sample sizes and a lack of replication. But, a 2004 paper by Marcial Losada and Emily Heaphy found that a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative comments can transform the feel of an organization’s culture.
Positive Energy Networks
Some people show positive deviance, virtuous practices, and affirmative bias. When these people reinforce one another, they become a Positive Energy Network. They set high goals (Cameron calls them ‘Everest Goals’) and communicate supportively to form high-quality workplace relationships. People take on tasks and work harder, just to become and stay part of a Positive Energy Network.
Which ideas from Positive Organizational Scholarship could you introduce to your own part of your organization? Plan how you can do it, and make a start (4 MC CPD Points)
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from Kim Cameron
Positive Organizational Scholarship https://geni.us/MyFVxAC
The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship https://geni.us/rtQL
Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance https://geni.us/AFE5T2
Practicing Positive Leadership: Tools and Techniques That Create Extraordinary Results https://geni.us/RdHxYve
Managers Need a Basic kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)
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