Enriching organisations: A personal exploration into putting human flourishing at the heart of my work

Atkinson, Robert Ian (2019) Enriching organisations: A personal exploration into putting human flourishing at the heart of my work. DProf thesis, Middlesex University / Ashridge Business School.

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Abstract

As we spend much of our lives working, the premise of this thesis is that work ought to be a central facet of an enriching, flourishing life. Yet the prevalent experience of work is seemingly the opposite; with confining, unfair, or simply mediocre organisational processes and practices ostensibly the norm. Personal anecdotes and organisational surveys reveal a threnody of disengaged staff, toxic bosses and limited growth opportunities. The result, a palpable knock-on towards organisational efficiency, effectiveness and creativity; and more widely to personal relationships, families, and society.

This thesis explores how we might place human flourishing at the heart of work by addressing three core inquiry questions: 1). What constitutes human flourishing? 2). How do we flourish (at work)? 3). How can organisations foster human flourishing? Utilising various forms of first- and second-person action research, a pragmatic and evolving constructivist research approach draws from personal reflection, peer inquiry, literature, and case studies to explore these inquiry questions.

A personal motif of Purpose, Place, and Practice (PPP) is introduced as a device, or lens, to reveal and consider both principle and practice aspects of workplace flourishing. The thesis relates an extended conversation on the researcher’s own career and working experiences, both as a civil society actor and an organisational development (OD) consultant. Through these explorations this motif is deepened to present a potential compass for determining personal and organisational directions for workplace flourishing.

The outcomes are varied, matching the nature of the exploration, including: an operative notion of workplace flourishing, the identification of key enrichers and diminishers, further development of the inquirer’s OD practice, and a nascent set of organising principles for an enriching organisation. Moreover, as an offer to others, the inquirer reflects on the learning and new meaning he developed regarding his own workplace flourishing. Thereby highlighting, beyond organisational conditions, the personal engagement and responsibility that is also required for us to flourish at work.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Ashridge Business School
Item ID: 26675
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 29 May 2019 10:55
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2019 19:43
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/26675

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