Can We Be Happy in a Post-Apocalyptic World?

earth-lightning-1215844-m Scientists predict that in the years to come both temperatures and sea levels could rise, diminishing valuable resources and leaving civilization in a place of discomfort, both physically and economically. But, despite these distresses, could we actually be happy? Authors Gioietta Kuo and Lane Jennings think so and discuss this possibility in their article, “Achieving Happiness in a Sustainable World” from World Future Review.

The abstract:

Modern science offers grounds for optimism concerning human comfort and well-being in the decades ahead. Yet, forces in nature and society still threaten to create conditions of worldwide physical and economic hardshipwfr unparalleled in recorded history. If, without despairing, we accept as a working hypothesis the likelihood that resource depletion and climate change will make deep and lasting changes in Earth’s geography and traditional social order, we can still find ways to keep alive the never-fully-realized aspirations that make life worth living. Drawing examples from human history and proposing novel attitudes and values, the authors argue that human beings can indeed survive and even manage to achieve lasting happiness in a future world of greatly diminished prospects and far fewer material comforts.
Read “Achieving Happiness in a Sustainable World” from World Future Review for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest from World Future Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Why We Should Be Optimistic About the Future

It’s true that our natural environment is in peril and our planet is running out of resources. But however bleak things may seem, an article by Gioietta Kuo of the American Center for International Policy Studies and Lane Jennings of the World Future Society asserts that we all have reason to be positive about the future. The authors wrote in their article, “Achieving Happiness in a Sustainable World,” in the World Future Review June 2013 issue:

WFR_72ppiRGB_150pixWModern science offers grounds for optimism concerning human comfort and well-being in the decades ahead. Yet, forces in nature and society still threaten to create conditions of worldwide physical and economic hardship unparalleled in recorded history. If, without despairing, we accept as a working hypothesis the likelihood that resource depletion and climate change will make deep and lasting changes in Earth’s geography and traditional social order, we can still find ways to keep alive the never-fully-realized aspirations that make life worth living. Drawing examples from human history and proposing novel attitudes and values, the authors argue that human beings can indeed survive and even manage to achieve lasting happiness in a future world of greatly diminished prospects and far fewer material comforts.

Continue reading the article online in World Future Review, and see the current issue of WFR here.

The Pursuit of Happiness at Work

This National Public Health Week, we remind ourselves there is much that management academics and practitioners can do to refocus on the relevance of the field for improving people’s lives. Today we highlight a literature review on life satisfaction from the Journal of Management that aims to understand the relationship between work and happiness. Managers may ask themselves: do employees feel challenged at work? Are they given opportunities to grow? Is their work meaningful to them? On-the-job tension, work-family conflict, and other stressors are also considered:

JOM_v38_72ppiRGB_150pixWA discussion of top-down and bottom-up theories of life satisfaction is included, and the literatures on work-related antecedents of life satisfaction, the proximal mediators (quality of work life, quality of nonwork life, and feelings of self-worth), and consequences of life satisfaction were reviewed. A meta-analysis of life satisfaction with respect to career satisfaction, job performance, turnover intentions, and organizational commitment was performed. Each major section of the article concludes with a future opportunities subsection where gaps in the research are discussed.

Click here to continue reading “Whistle While You Work : A Review of the Life Satisfaction Literature,” published by Berrin Erdogan, Talya N. Bauer, Donald M. Truxillo and Layla R. Mansfield in the Journal of Management (JOM)–and sign up for e-alerts so stay up-to-date on the latest research in your field.

The Need for a Happy Holiday

Vacations are made for enjoyment. Seeing old friends, relaxing, sightseeing, and escaping the daily grind are all undeniably appealing. But various factors including holiday stress, fellow travelers, and tiredness can sometimes make a vacay not so happy.

The Journal of Travel Research published a study that answers the question: How happy are tourists during a day of their holiday and what makes them happy? The article offers suggestions for tourism managers to enhance travelers’ experiences, as well as for tourists who want to increase their chances of a happy vacation:

How happy are tourists during a day of their holiday and what makes them happy? These questions were addressed in a study  of 466 international tourists in the Netherlands. While on vacation, tourists are generally high on hedonic level of affect, with positive affect exceeding negative affect almost fourfold. Affect balance is higher than generally observed in everyday life,  whereas tourists’ life satisfaction is not significantly different compared with life satisfaction in their everyday life. Vacationers’ socioeconomic backgrounds and life satisfaction only partially explain their affective state of the day. Most of the variance is explained by factors associated with the holiday trip itself. During a holiday, holiday stress and attitude toward the travel party are the most important determinants of daily affect balance. These findings imply that on the whole, the tourism industry is doing a good job. The industry could probably do better with more research on experiences during the holiday.

Click here to read the article, “Determinants of Daily Happiness on Vacation,” published by Jeroen Nawijn, tourism lecturer at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences. in the September 2011 issue of the Journal of Travel Research, and click here to receive e-alerts about new research from the journal.

Are You Happy At Work?

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Better Life Index revealed last week that while the U.S. ranks No. 1 in terms of income compared to other OECD countries, it lags far behind in terms of work-life balance.

A new study in the Journal of Management (JOM) examines this all-important relationship, asking how our work lives contribute to our overall level of life happiness. Berrin Erdogan, Talya N. Bauer, Donald M. Truxillo, and Layla R. Mansfield, all of Portland State University, published “Whistle While You Work: A Review of the Life Satisfaction Literature” in the July 2012 issue of JOM. To see other articles in this issue, click here.

The abstract:

Life satisfaction is a key indicator of subjective well-being. This article is a review of the multidisciplinary literature on the relationship between life satisfaction and the work domain. A discussion of top-down and bottom-up theories of life satisfaction is included, and the literatures on work-related antecedents of life satisfaction, the proximal mediators (quality of work life, quality of nonwork life, and feelings of self-worth), and consequences of life satisfaction were reviewed. A meta-analysis of life satisfaction with respect to career satisfaction, job performance, turnover intentions, and organizational commitment was performed. Each major section of the article concludes with a future opportunities subsection where gaps in the research are discussed.

To learn more about the Journal of Management, please follow this link.

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