Burns, Richard A. and Machin, M. Anthony (2007) Re-evaluating our conception of well-being in an organisational setting. In: IOP 2007: Better Work. Better Organisations. Better World, 28 Jun-1 Jul 2007, Adelaide, South Australia.
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Employee well-being is generally captured by assessments of mental health, work satisfaction and level of affect, reflecting a Hedonistic approach to understanding Subjective Well-Being (SWB). In contrast, from their own gerontological research, Ryff (1989) and Ryff & Keyes (1995) proposed a Eudaimonic model of Psychological Well-Being (PWB) consisting of 6 dimensions: autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations with others, purpose in life, and self-acceptance. Whilst SWB focuses on subjective assessment of affect and satisfaction, PWB considers the patterns of healthy living that are associated with measures of healthy human functioning. There are serious limitations to using SWB models alone in assessing well-being given the role of hereditary in pre-determining levels of affect, the degree of affect reactivity, and the difficulty in promoting long-term stable change in affect level. By contrast, PWB has been demonstrated to be a stable construct that appears to reduce affective reactivity. Factor Analysis of Ryff’s 6-factor structure of PWB scale found support for one-factor and three-factor models. Further analysis indicated that PWB and SWB are correlated, but distinct constructs with a five-factor model separating PWB and SWB components.
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