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The Application of Signature Character Strengths and Positive Experiences at Work

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  • Claudia Harzer
  • Willibald Ruch

Abstract

We hypothesized that the amount of positive experiences at work (job satisfaction, pleasure, engagement, meaning) is a function of the extent to which the situational circumstances at the workplace allow for the application of an individual’s signature character strengths. For the description of the individual a reliable and valid instrument already exists, but not for the environment. Hence, the newly developed Applicability of Character Strengths Rating Scales (ACS-RS) with information on its reliability and validity were also presented. A sample of 1,111 adults filled in the ACS-RS and measures for possession of character strengths and positive experiences at work. The ACS-RS was reliable by means of internal consistency and inter-rater reliability. It proved to be valid in several ways being sensitive to: (a) the differences in the applicability of trait-relevant behavior in formal versus informal situations by showing higher applicability of the character strengths in the latter; (b) the differences between traits regarding their applicability across situations; (c) people’s disposition to choose situations fitting their dispositions by showing positive relationships between the degree of possession and applicability. Moreover, correlations between applicability of strengths and positive experiences increased with the individual centrality of the strengths. The more signature strengths were applied at the workplace, the higher the positive experiences at work. This study showed that character strengths matter in vocational environments irrespective of their content. Strengths-congruent activities at the workplace are important for positive experiences at work like job satisfaction and experiencing pleasure, engagement, and meaning fostered by one’s job. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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  • Claudia Harzer & Willibald Ruch, 2013. "The Application of Signature Character Strengths and Positive Experiences at Work," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 965-983, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:14:y:2013:i:3:p:965-983
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-012-9364-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Veronika Huta & Lance Hawley, 2010. "Psychological Strengths and Cognitive Vulnerabilities: Are They Two Ends of the Same Continuum or Do They Have Independent Relationships with Well-being and Ill-being?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 71-93, March.
    2. Christopher Peterson & Nansook Park & Martin Seligman, 2005. "Orientations to happiness and life satisfaction: the full life versus the empty life," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 25-41, March.
    3. Satoshi Shimai & Keiko Otake & Nansook Park & Christopher Peterson & Martin Seligman, 2006. "Convergence of Character Strengths in American and Japanese Young Adults," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 311-322, September.
    4. Carmel Proctor & John Maltby & P. Linley, 2011. "Strengths Use as a Predictor of Well-Being and Health-Related Quality of Life," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 153-169, March.
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    1. Sagrario Yárnoz-Yaben & Alaitz Garmendia & Priscila Comino, 2016. "Looking at the Bright Side: Forgiveness and Subjective Well-Being in Divorced Spanish Parents," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 1905-1919, October.
    2. Tamar Blanchard & Todd Kerbeykian & Robert E. McGrath, 2020. "Why Are Signature Strengths and Well-Being Related? Tests of Multiple Hypotheses," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 21(6), pages 2095-2114, August.
    3. Hadassah Littman-Ovadia & Shiri Lavy & Maayan Boiman-Meshita, 2017. "When Theory and Research Collide: Examining Correlates of Signature Strengths Use at Work," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 527-548, April.
    4. Alexandra Huber & Cornelia Strecker & Melanie Hausler & Timo Kachel & Thomas Höge & Stefan Höfer, 2020. "Possession and Applicability of Signature Character Strengths: What Is Essential for Well-Being, Work Engagement, and Burnout?," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 415-436, April.
    5. Sonja Heintz & Willibald Ruch, 2020. "Character Strengths and Job Satisfaction: Differential Relationships Across Occupational Groups and Adulthood," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 503-527, April.
    6. Claudia Harzer & Willibald Ruch, 2016. "Your Strengths are Calling: Preliminary Results of a Web-Based Strengths Intervention to Increase Calling," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 2237-2256, December.
    7. Cornelia Strecker & Alexandra Huber & Thomas Höge & Melanie Hausler & Stefan Höfer, 2020. "Identifying thriving Workplaces in Hospitals: Work Characteristics and the Applicability of Character Strengths at Work," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 437-461, April.
    8. James Arthur & Stephen R. Earl & Aidan P. Thompson & Joseph W. Ward, 2021. "The Value of Character-Based Judgement in the Professional Domain," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 169(2), pages 293-308, March.
    9. Thomas Höge & Cornelia Strecker & Melanie Hausler & Alexandra Huber & Stefan Höfer, 2020. "Perceived Socio-moral Climate and the Applicability of Signature Character Strengths at Work: a Study among Hospital Physicians," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 463-484, April.
    10. Maria Christina Meyers & Byron G. Adams & Lusanda Sekaja & Carmen Buzea & Ana-Maria Cazan & Mihaela Gotea & Delia Stefenel & Marianne Woerkom, 2019. "Perceived Organizational Support for the Use of Employees’ Strengths and Employee Well-Being: A Cross-Country Comparison," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(6), pages 1825-1841, August.
    11. Maria Christina Meyers & Marianne Woerkom, 2017. "Effects of a Strengths Intervention on General and Work-Related Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Positive Affect," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 671-689, June.
    12. Maria Christina Meyers & Dorien Kooij & Brigitte Kroon & Renee Reuver & Marianne Woerkom, 2020. "Organizational Support for Strengths Use, Work Engagement, and Contextual Performance: The Moderating Role of Age," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 485-502, April.
    13. Richard Douglass & Ryan Duffy, 2015. "Strengths Use and Life Satisfaction: A Moderated Mediation Approach," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 619-632, June.
    14. Timo Lorenz & Kathrin Heinitz & Clemens Beer & Marianne van Woerkom, 2021. "Adaptation and validation of a German version of the Strengths Use and Deficit Correction (SUDCO) questionnaire," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(1), pages 1-18, January.
    15. Marine Miglianico & Philippe Dubreuil & Paule Miquelon & Arnold B. Bakker & Charles Martin-Krumm, 2020. "Strength Use in the Workplace: A Literature Review," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 737-764, February.
    16. Matthew Hagler & Sherry Hamby & John Grych & Victoria Banyard, 2016. "Working for Well-Being: Uncovering the Protective Benefits of Work Through Mixed Methods Analysis," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 1493-1510, August.
    17. Martina Buljac-Samardžić & Marianne van Woerkom, 2018. "Improving quality and safety of care in nursing homes by team support for strengths use: A survey study," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(7), pages 1-16, July.
    18. Nicola S. Schutte & John M. Malouff, 2019. "The Impact of Signature Character Strengths Interventions: A Meta-analysis," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 1179-1196, April.

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