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Positive Organizational Scholarship

Cameron, Kim S., Jane E. Dutton, and Robert E. Quinn. Positive Organizational Scholarship: Foundations of a New Discipline. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2003.

For the sake of contrast, now imagine another world in which almost all organizations are typified by appreciation, collaboration, virtuousness, vitality, and meaningfulness. Creating abundance and human well-being are key indicators of success. Imagine that members of such organizations are characterized by trustworthiness, resilience, wisdom, humility, and high levels of positive energy. Social relationships and interactions are characterized by compassion, loyalty, honesty, respect, and forgiveness. Significant attention is given to what makes life worth living. Imagine that scholarly researchers emphasize theories of excellence, transcendence, positive deviance, extraordinary performance, and positive spirals of flourishing.

Specifically, we define authentic leadership in organizations as a process that draws from both positive psychological capacities and a highly developed organizational context, which results in both greater self-awareness and self-regulated positive behaviors on the part of leaders and associates, fostering positive self-development. The authentic leader is confident, hopeful, optimistic, resilient, transparent, moral/ethical, future-oriented, and gives priority to developing associates to be leaders. … The authentic leader does not try to coerce or even rationally persuade associates, but rather the leader’s authentic values, beliefs, and behaviors serve to model the development of associates.