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Pursglove, LR (2014)
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
The landscape of the public sector has changed. Economic recession and the demand for greater efficiencies have created a need to measure and improve employee well-being, whilst attaining individual and organisational goals without additional financial reward. Drawing upon hope theory as defined by C.R. Snyder, particular attention is given to the predictive nature of trait hope over other state-like constructs of psychological capital, including hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism. In literature, hope is recognised for its state and trait-like qualities. It is defined as an active process through which goals can be attained through agentic thinking and pathways actions. Research (Bandler & Grinder, 1979; Woodbury, 1999; Green, 2001: Silbiger, 1999; Pullin, 2002) supports the view that individuals who attain individual goals are more likely to achieve organisational objectives. Furthermore, hope has been found to be an important predictor of psychological adjustment to stressful life events (Michael & Snyder, 2005; Valle et al. 2006) and an organisation which fosters hopeful thinking in employees, can counter the detrimental impact of change fatigue by encouraging employees to work towards a shared goal. Hope as a singular construct is compared to well-being as defined by four questions devised by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and employee engagement in a survey of 242 employees. To breach the gap in the availability of large or longitudinal data sets relating to hope in the workplace, benchmarking of the same employee engagement and well-being questions is conducted using staff survey data of a large civil service department over a five-year period.\ud Findings are also benchmarked to the national UK findings of the ONS evaluation of well-being. A decline in engagement as defined specifically by four questions looking at role and purpose, contribution of individual work and perception of motivational support to achieve organisational objectives was found across the five-year period which correlated with the most significant periods of change. Employees who are high in hope report better engagement, are more satisfied with life and are happier at work using new national measures of well-being than those with hope scores below the mean. When taken together evidence suggests a holistic explanation of subjective well-being and future ability for goal attainment can be made through a simple combined application of hope and well-being scales in the workplace.
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    • Argyle, M. (2001). The Psychology of Happiness. 1st Edition. London: Routledge. Cited in: M. Argyle. (2004). The Psychology of Happiness. 2nd March 2012. Available at: www.ons.gov.uk/rel/integrated-householdWright, T. A. & Quick, J. C. (2011). The role of character in ethical leadership research. The Leadership Quarterly, 22, 975-978.
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