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Eastern Academy of Management 2018 Annual Meeting

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The Impact of Strengths on Work Engagement: The Make Rhode Island Stronger Initiative

We analyzes the Make Rhode Island Stronger initiative, which involves the efforts of Leadership Rhode Island and thousands of Rhode Islanders to transform individuals, communities, and companies through adopting a strengths-based philosophy and building on the states’ strengths. The impetus for this initiative was Gallup data showing that Rhode Islands’ percentage of actively disengaged employees was the highest in the nation and the state ranked sixth lowest on actively engaged employees. We report on outcomes of the initiative, which include significant changes in workplace engagement. We provide an example of a state-wide initiative that positively shifts work engagement through the practice of recognizing one’s own strengths and the strengths of others. We also add value to our understanding of how strengths-based leadership can be appreciated at all levels of the organization and to show that positive psychology and a positive, strengths-based approach in the workplace benefits individuals and organizations.

Kathi Lovelace
Menlo College
United States

Kevin Lo
University of San Francisco
United States

Kevin Cooper
Leadership Rhode Island
United States

Jane Parent
Merrimack College
United States


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