A case study of collective thriving at work

by Jenkins, Patrice K., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 143 pages; 3423948


A single case study research design was used to explore the factors that contribute to collective thriving at Eileen Fisher, Inc. The company was selected for this study on the basis of having been named among the 50 best small and medium-sized companies to work for in America for six consecutive years (2004–2009). In-depth, focused interviews of 11 employees at the company’s corporate offices in Irvington, N.Y., and New York City were conducted. Additional documents such as the company’s website, internal newsletter, and “Great Place to Work” application were included in the data analysis. The outcome of this study points to 6 main factors that contribute to collective thriving: (a) High-Quality Relationships, (b) High Challenge, (c) Inclusiveness, (d) Transparency, (e) Whole Person, and (f) Eileen: The Woman and Company. The results of this study suggest that a strong company culture that supports individual and collective growth and employees’ well-being is at the core of collective thriving. From this core, high-quality relationships among people appear to moderate the relationship between demanding work projects and thriving. This study also points to the importance and value of addressing the “whole person” at work, including offering opportunities for individuals to explore interests and passions, to volunteer, and to nourish the well-being of body, mind, and spirit. This study contributes to the literature in positive psychology, specifically related to positive institutions and the power and impact high-quality relationships can have in the workplace. This study advances the literature on collective thriving and provides support for the possibility that a collectively thriving organization is better prepared to deal with uncertain conditions and challenges facing organizations.

AdviserDeborah Vogele-Welch
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Psychology; Organization theory
Publication Number3423948

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