Department of Management


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Organizational Behavior 30 (2009), pp. 291–307; doi 10.1002/job.589 Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Used by permission.


Perhaps the most important “Point” we would like to make in this “Point-Counterpoint” on positive organizational behavior is the role that research must play in this evolving area of study. We follow this point on the importance of research by drawing from recent findings that indicate in discussions such as this point and counterpoint, that taking a positive approach leads to more in-depth inquiry, whereas a negative perspective leads to advocacy and in our view less learning potential. Thus, the positive perspective we take in this “Point” piece is to identify and make a deep inquiry into the major issues and questions surrounding positive organizational behavior (POB). We consciously try to avoid taking an advocacy position. Specifically, after first setting the stage with the background and status of POB, we draw from the lessons that can be learned from positive psychology and then make an inquiry into “Why POB?” and exactly “What is POB?” The article concludes with further inquiry into the role the negative does and can play, and finally how POB relates to our recent work in authentic leadership development.