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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume III, Work and Wellbeing by Peter Chen, Cary Cooper

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Chapter 8

Character and Wellbeing

Thomas A. Wright

Fordham University, U.S.A.

Tyler Lauer

Manhattan, Kansas, U.S.A.

Character is the basis of happiness and happiness the sanction of character.

George Santayana (1863–1952)

The existence of an association between character and wellbeing has long been assumed by academics and practitioners alike (Wright & Quick, 2011a). For many, including Santayana, character is presumed to be an underlying condition, even a necessity, for the occurrence and maintenance of one's happiness and general wellbeing. Santayana's basic thesis is highly consistent with the positive psychology and positive organizational behavior movements' recognition that every individual has a portfolio of core strengths, including those involving character, which lead to personal growth and betterment (Luthans, 2002; Wright, 2003; Wright & Quick, 2009). In this chapter, we highlight three primary objectives. First, a brief overview of the organizational research on wellbeing is provided. Second, a working definition of character is introduced. Finally, exciting future directions for applied researchers interested in the relationship between character and wellbeing are presented.

Organizational Research on Wellbeing

Throughout the ages, one of the most persistent topics of human interest has been the pursuit of wellbeing or “happiness” (Russell, 1930; Wright & Cropanzano, 2000). Consistent with this pursuit, the causes and consequences of employee wellbeing have long been ...

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