Thriving at Work: A Meta‐Analysis

Thriving at work is defined as a psychological state in which people experience a joint sense of vitality and learning in the workplace. It is understood that the experience of thriving communicates a sense of growth and personal development (Spreitzer et al. 2005). Spreitzer et al. (2005) describe how thriving is related to, yet distinct from, constructs such as flourishing, resilience, flow, self-actualization, and subjective well-being.

Research indicates that thriving at work predicts several desired individual and organizational outcomes, such as overall health (Porath et al. 2012), burnout and strain (Porath et al. 2012; Spreitzer & Porath 2012), and employee’s self-development and performance (Paterson et al. 2014). Although Spreitzer et al. (2005) stress the socially embedded nature of thriving, recent work by Paterson et al. (2014) focuses on individual attributes (e.g., “psychological capital”) and supervisor support as enablers of thriving.

So far, no systematic synthesis of the literature on thriving has been attempted. Accordingly, we are in the process of preparing a meta-analysis on the antecedents and outcomes of thriving at work.

Anne-Kathrin Kleine
Cort W. Rudolph
Hannes Zacher


Paterson, T. A., Luthans, F., & Jeung, W. (2014). Thriving at work: Impact of psychological capital and supervisor support. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35, 434-446.

Porath, C., Spreitzer, G., Gibson, C., & Garnett, F. G. (2012). Thriving at work: Toward its measurement, construct validation, and theoretical refinement. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33, 250-275.

Spreitzer, G., & Porath, C. (2012). Creating sustainable performance. Harvard Business Review, 90, 92-99.

Spreitzer, G., Sutcliffe, K., Dutton, J., Sonenshein, S., & Grant, A. M. (2005). A socially embedded model of thriving at work. Organization Science, 16, 537-549.

Cort W. Rudolph
Associate Professor of Industrial & Organizational Psychology


Thriving at Work: A Meta-Analysis

Thriving at work refers to a positive psychological state characterized by a joint sense of vitality and learning.