Inside-Out-Outside-In: A dual approach process model to developing work happiness

Paige Williams, Margaret L Kern, Lea Waters


Abstract: This conceptual paper presents the Inside-Out-Outside-In (IO-OI) model, a dual process positive systems science approach to developing work happiness. The model suggests that work happiness of employees is influenced by individual level personal resources developed through positive employee development and positive attitudes (inside-out factors), and social resources developed at the organizational level through positive strategies and positive organizational culture (outside-in factors). The model further specifies three processes that connect outside-in and inside-out factors (attitude re-evaluation, selective exposure and confirmation bias), and a series of feedback loops that support upward spirals of positive development at the individual and organizational levels. We suggest ways in which the IO-OI model can be used and tested. The IO-OI model integrates the fields of attitudes, positive organizational scholarship, and positive organizational behavior, and provides a foundation for understanding how to best foster positive attitudes, create virtuous organizations and foster employee work happiness.


work happiness, attitudes, psychological capital, organizational virtuousness, selective exposure, confirmation bias

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