Feminist Positive Organizational Psychology

Date: 18th February 2021

Presenter: M. Gloria González-Morales

In this talk, I use a feminist epistemological lens to the study of respectful engagement in lieu of ‘civility’ in the workplace, as the counterpoint of workplace incivility and other organizational deviant behaviors. I build a theoretical framework based upon the positive organizational scholarship (POS) concepts of positive social capital (Bakker & Dutton, 2006), high-quality connections (Dutton & Heaphy, 2003) and the feminist  theory of relational work and practice (Fletcher, 1998).   

I will share empirical findings that  support the connections between respectful engagement as an indicator of high-quality connections, and other positive interpersonal workplace behaviors (e.g., OCB,  organizational prosocial behavior, perceived coworker support) and outcomes (e.g., mental wellbeing, affective commitment, job satisfaction).  

I will discuss theoretical and practical implications around the idea that positive organizations can be built through respectful engagement and other relational practices (i.e., communal behavior oriented toward relational goals and stereotypically enacted by and expected from women) that facilitate relational cultures and displace detrimental practices of toxic competitive environments (i.e., ruthlessness, endless stamina and emotional toughness) characteristic of masculinity contest cultures (Berdhal et al., 2018), which underlie most organizations.  


M. Gloria González-Morales, PhD is an associate professor of psychology at Claremont Graduate University (California), and the Director of the Worker Wellbeing Lab (research.cgu.edu/worker-wellbeing). Her research has been funded with scholarships and grants, including a prestigious Fulbright scholarship and funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. Her studies involve the disciplines of occupational health psychology and positive organizational psychology that focus on stress, work-life issues, victimization, incivility and civility, and positive organizational interventions to enhance well-being and performance. 

She is associate editor of Work & Stress Journal, in addition to serving on the editorial boards of Journal of Journal of Business and Psychology, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Stress & Health, Anxiety, Stress & Coping, and Occupational Health Science.  

Her research has been published in some of the world’s top-ranked psychology outlets such as Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Work & Stress, and Journal of Organizational Behavior. She was awarded the 2017 best paper award from the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology for her research on respite workplace interventions to foster employee well-being, and the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology Best Paper Award 2017 & 2018 for her intervention study to reduce abusive supervision. 

Dr. González-Morales has more than 15 years of experience consulting for organizations from Canada, Europe, and U.S. organizations in different sectors (i.e., government, healthcare, hospitality, non-for profit, energy, manufacturing). As executive director of Organization & Management Solutions (2013-2020), she has led more than 20 consulting projects in diverse areas of practice: competency modeling and recruitment & selection systems, organizational development & change, needs analysis, performance management systems, engagement surveys, leadership & team development and training.  

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