What Is Positive Organizational Scholarship? - Definition and Examples

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  • 1:10 Self-Efficacy
  • 2:12 Hope
  • 3:16 Optimism
  • 3:51 Resiliency
  • 4:25 Advantages to POS
  • 4:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Positive organizational scholarship focuses on companies creating positive work life and performance. In this lesson, learn how companies that successfully teach their employees these skills have a higher chance of success.

Positive Organizational Scholarship

Have you ever dreaded going to work because your company was in a downward spiral of negativity? Perhaps company morale was declining, and there was an overall heavy mood that caused you to not care about your work. In 2003, a movement began in organizational behavior called positive organizational scholarship, which focuses on companies creating positive work life and performance. The four key components of positive organizational scholarship (POS) are self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resiliency. Companies that are successful in adapting the four components are able to manage organizational performance in a positive manner.

Cheapo Toys is a well-known toy manufacturer located on the East Coast. They believe that in order to stay successful and compete with the global market, they need to establish a positive atmosphere within the organization. Let's see how they accomplish this by adopting the four key components.


The first part of positive organizational scholarship is the ability for individuals at work to have self-efficacy. This means that the organization has individuals who are able to achieve difficult tasks due to dedication, persistence and good work ethic. Companies need to hire and cultivate employees with self-efficacy. Cheapo Toys has an extensive interview process that looks for potential employees who have these traits. They also look for individuals who have not let obstacles stand in the way of their work success.

For example, Cheapo recently hired a new accounting manager who worked his way through school with three part-time jobs. He explained that working 60-hour weeks was expected, and he would be fully dedicated to giving 100% to the company. His positive, can-do attitude landed him the job. Self-efficacy can also be taught, and companies should invest in seminars and management training to help employees develop this skill.


The second important element of POS is hope. This means that individuals who have positive expectations usually stay motivated and find alternative ways to solve problems. Companies look to hire employees who have this trait, as they are individuals who are able to handle conflict and develop contingency plans when problems arise. Companies can also offer training classes to help teach those skills to hired employees, but in general, it is easier and more efficient to hire people who have a positive outlook.

Cheapo Toys looks to find employees who can easily solve problems. For example, their marketing manager was successful at finding an alternate route of distribution for their toy cars. The manager was able to develop a small enough box that the toy cars could be distributed through vending machines at hospitals and airports. Even though initially the vending company passed on the idea, the manager was hopeful that continued redesign of the box would lead to a new sales avenue, and it did.

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