The Measurement of Well-being at Work

Kevin Daniels, Emma Russell, George Michaelides, Emike Nasamu, Sara Connolly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Wellbeing has a prominent profile in many academic disciplines. For example, in philosophy, there is Aristotle’s conception of wellbeing as associated with human flourishing or ‘eudaimonia’. In political theory, Utilitarianism defines the main goals of policy as maximising pleasure and minimising gain (Bache & Reardon, 2016). Much more recently, some national political leaders, as well as political theorists/scientists, have become interested in wellbeing as an alternative marker of national progress to economic measures such as gross domestic product. Although there are many debates on the nature of wellbeing, the dominant view is that wellbeing is inherently a psychological construct (O’Donnell et al., 2014). Thus, psychological approaches to measuring wellbeing provide a platform for indexing the effectiveness of policy decisions made at all levels, from workplaces through to nation states (Layard, 2006). In relation to the workplace, such policies may include those directed at reducing absence rates or securing sustainable productivity gains without threatening worker health, wherein psychological wellbeing may serve as a leading indicator. At regional, national or even supra-national level, relevant policies pertain to labour market regulation and workplace health and safety. As such, the purpose of this chapter is to outline some of the main and emerging issues in the measurement of workplace wellbeing. We consider both positive markers of wellbeing (e.g., job satisfaction) and markers developed from research focused on indexing psychologically harmful effects of working practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrganisational Stress and Well-Being
EditorsLaurent M. Lapierre, Cary Cooper
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages40
ISBN (Print)9781009268332
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Wellbeing
  • well-being
  • psychometrics
  • measurement

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