Sunday, March 29, 2009


One of the things I have looked at the most is hope. I’ve been attracted to the concept from the moment I first saw it.

Hope is the belief that one has the will and the way to accomplish valued goals at work (Snyder et al. 1996). When we have something of value to work for, the “waypower” or knowledge of how to get the things we value, and the “willpower” to put for the effort to strive for those things, hope is alive. To the extent any of these is missing, hope wanes.

My research on hope is very exploratory, but I have consistently found a strong relationship between hope and health in employees. In fact, hope is so strong it overwhelms the presence of all the bad stuff (e.g. anxiety, burnout).

Much to my surprise, I have personally not found a direct relationship between hope and employee performance, although a few others have. It is very difficult to publish those findings, because the bias toward hope and other POB concepts is to present it as “positive” as possible.

I love the concept of hope, but from an evidence-based perspective, the jury is still out.

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