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Enabling Work Environments for well-being: What are they and why do we care


Speaker:Dr. Maria Karanika-Myrray, Nottingham Trent University
Date: Wednesday 7 March 2012
Time: 10.00
Location: Xfi Conference Room 1

Further details

Although much has been written about the importance of the work context in organizational behaviour, the context in which well-being is embedded has not received sufficient research attention. What is more, we do not yet have a comprehensive way of conceptualizing work environments in relation to well-being. This presentation aims to fill some of these gaps. After (i) discussing what work-related well-being means and (ii) outlining the evidence for the importance of context for relation to well-being at work, (iii) a framework to conceptualise work environments for well-being is presented. Specifically, self-determination theory (SDT) is used as the connective tissue between work environment and well-being, such that enabling work environments (EnWE) for well-being are defined as those that can facilitate the fulfilment of three fundamental innate psychological needs (for competence, autonomy, and relatedness). In turn, these can impact on motivation and a range of facets of well-being (anxiety, job satisfaction, absence, performance etc). Evidence for the effects of EnWE on well-being will be discussed and key messages related to the neglected role of the work context for well-being highlighted. This original work offers a new perspective to the established literature and provides a promising framework for anchoring our understanding of the work environment in the contextual milieu of well-being. This research was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council’s First Grant Scheme (grant number RES-061-25-0344).