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An Academic View of Best

viewDigging in to other research on Best

A slightly different tone for this post, we’ve had our academic heads on all week!  In the hopes of keeping this research update brief we’re just going to highlight a couple of pieces of research that have particularly influenced our thinking.

Initially we were quite overwhelmed by the range of subject matter that appears to link to when people are their best in work.  Of course one of the consistent things is the output or performance.  So here we share our reading list for the past few days.

What we have found interesting in our recent research is that there are elements of Internal Characteristics and Behaviours that are described within definitions and models.

In terms of the performance literature, behaviour is often described in terms of output or financial implications of performance

Griffen et al (2007) proposed a very helpful framework of performance in changing environments:

They suggested three key areas were involved:

  • Proficiency
  • Adaptivity
  • Proactivity

Another element of performing is that of stretch – or developing and growing to one’s Potential.

The Corporate Leadership Council conducted a review of the literature in this area and concluded three consistent areas for potential:

  • Ability
  • Aspiration
  • Engagement 

Here we can see something Internal, certainly in terms of aspiration and something Behavioural (in terms of their ability).

Totem Gummi Bears

Bakker and Demerouti’s Job Demands-Resources Model of Engagement highlights the role of Internal characteristics of Self Efficacy, Resilience, Optimism and Hope.  In this model there are also Behavioural characteristics of engagement as vigor, dedication and absorption.   Whilst Ferndale’s engagement review highlighted the difference between state engagement (the Internal)  and behavioural engagement.

In terms of the final area of Commitment, we have a range of researchers to draw on including Swailes Organisational Citizenship Behaviours.

An finally, an interesting paper by Meyer et al.  Here they suggest that commitment is one component of motivation which involves Internal characteristics often demonstrated in Behaviours.

What we’re currently thinking is that being at one’s best lies in the overlap of these concepts, so this is where we’re starting to conduct our research approach.

Does Best lie here?
where-is-best