Intentionomics Research Project

iag-logoA very big welcome!

Below you’ll find a 30 minute video that provides an overview of the results I presented during a live-to-air webinar on Wednesday 29th of September, 2016.

Acknowledgements: This applied positive psychology research in a workplace setting was only possible with the assistance of a number of key executives within IAG People & Culture and in particular I’d very much like to acknowledge and thank Daniel Murray, Senior Manager IAG Foundation for his interest and support of the research and for his introductions to Jackie Johnson, Gillian Folkes, Lee Haycox, and Richard Crawford in the executive leadership team within the People & Culture division of IAG. It was a joy for me to realise the shared and aligned values we all had for wanting to complete this research. I’d also like to acknowledge Geoff Thomas for assisting me with sourcing the study participants. To all 95 of the initial volunteers who registered interest in participating in the research study, and especially to the 63 volunteers who stoically completed all required tasks over the three week study, I am so very thankful and grateful because there wouldn’t have been a study without your interest and commitment.

Here’s a summarised extract from my 10,000 word dissertation:

The Impact of Intentional Prosocial Behaviour on Meaning, Motivation and Life Satisfaction in A Workplace Setting

Adults typically experience a significant amount of their life in workplace settings and researchers have studied various means by which individuals can enhance their engagement and well-being at work. Gallup-Heatherways’ (2015) State of Global Well-Being report indicates that 52% of all adults are struggling in purpose-related well-being, and these people are consequently less likely to be engaged in their jobs.

One area of research related to pro-social behaviour in a workplace setting that has not been explored, is when an employee focuses on actions that demonstrate a positive intention for their clients, what impact on individual well-being might occur?

A quantitative research experiment was conducted within one of Australia’s largest insurance organisations. The research was based on the development of a positive psychology intervention (PPI) to explore changes in an employee’s sense of self-determination, meaning at work and life satisfaction.

The participants were sourced from the organisation’s People and Culture division by responding to an email from the executive management team inviting volunteers to participate in the study. The volunteers were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group where the experimental group reported weekly over a three week period on behaviourally evidencing a positive intention for their clients, contrasted with the control group focusing on work tasks.

Similar to other research findings, satisfaction in life, meaning at work and self-determination were strongly associated. However, no statistically significant impact on life satisfaction or meaning at work was reported following the PPI.

The experimental group (positive intention focus) did however show a statistically significant increase in their overall sense of self-determination, and particularly in their sense of perceived choice.

A range of positive psychology research studies have validated that Self-Determination and specifically, the sub-category of Perceived Choice are strongly associated with employee engagement and productivity in the workplace.

While results of this study did report slightly higher increases in meaning at work by the experimental group, the PPI did not have a statistically significant effect on meaning at work or life satisfaction. However, the reported increase in the experimental group’s sense of self determination suggests this study raises important questions for organisational leaders and opportunities for further research in applied positive psychology in workplace settings.

End of abstract

And here is the video of the webinar where I reviewed the above purpose of the research and findings.

Let’s stay connected… This week, after an absence for a few years on facebook, I’ve just re-launched my Facebook Page (David Penglase Seminars) and am hoping you’ll help me make life better for the people in our worlds by ‘liking’ my Facebook Page (David Penglase Seminars). I’ll be posting regularly about trust, leadership, intention and a host of related workplace (and personal) positive psychology research, observations and experiences. Here’s the FB page link and I’m also on LinkedIn if you’d like to be connected there (I don’t tweet much, but am on twitter)… both LinkedIn and Twitter ‘davidpenglase’

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