Julia K. Boehm and Sonja Lyubomirsky
University of California, Riverside
Journal of Career Assessment 2008; 16; 101
Past research has demonstrated a relationship between happiness and workplace success.
For example, compared with their less happy peers, happy people earn more
money, display superior performance, and perform more helpful acts. Researchers
have often assumed that an employee is happy and satisfied because he or she is
successful. In this article, the authors review evidence in support of an alternative
hypothesis—namely, that happiness is a source of why particular employees are more
successful than others. To this end, the authors consider evidence from three types of
studies—cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental—that relate happiness to various
work outcomes. Taken together, the evidence suggests that happiness is not only
correlated with workplace success but that happiness often precedes measures of success
and that induction of positive affect leads to improved workplace outcomes.