Positive human enhancement by organizational order

Psychological organizational reinforcement

What is ‘’positive work and organizations?” PWO is conceptualized as an umbrella term encompassing positive organizational psychology (POP), positive organizational behavior (POB), and positive organizational scholarship (POS) (Warren et al., 2017). POP, POS, and POB are now influencing technology, hospitality and management, law, and financial planning. POP is  the scientific study of positive subjective experiences and traits in the workplace and positive organizations, and its application to improve the effectiveness and quality of life in organizations” (Donaldson and Ko, 2010 p. 6). POB examines human resource strengths (i.e. psychological capacities) that can be measured and developed, such as hope, optimism, resilience, and self-efficacy at the individual and team levels (Luthans, 2002). Scholars define POS as “the study of that which is positive, flourishing, and life-giving in organizations” (Cameron and Caza, 2004, p. 731). POS is concerned with positive processes and outcomes for organizations and its employees, including topics such as organizational virtuousness, positive deviance, and appreciation cultures (Cameron et al. 2003). Positive organizational psychology emphasizes life-giving, positive characteristics in organizations, as well as the three pillars of positive psychology: positive subjective experiences, positive traits, and positive institutions (Peterson, 2006)[1]. The positive psychology interventions (PPIs) are psychological mechanisms which help organizations implement PWO. These instruments are: psychological capital interventions (Psycap), job crafting interventions, employee strengths interventions, employee gratitude interventions, and employee well-being interventions [2]. Of all, the employee wellbeing intervention is of interest for our analysis. Employee well-being may encompass both general well-being and work-specific well-being (e.g., evaluation of job satisfaction and work related affect; Bakker and Oerlemans 2011; Neumeier et al. 2017). Seligman’s well being theory (2011), known as PERMA (i.e., positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment) [3]. 

       Personal expectations and employee satisfaction

It is recognized that job satisfaction is the degree to which employees feel that their needs and expectations are being met. Satisfaction develops through cognitive and emotional responses. The person-environment fit theory can be a useful framework for understanding why some practices of SHRM have the ability to generate employee satisfaction. This theory holds that the degree of fit between employee needs and organizational supplies impacts employees’ attitudes. Hence, it is likely that positive job satisfaction arises when the degree of perceived fit between the person and the work environment is high, while negative attitudes would develop when the person-environment adjustment is perceived to be low (Salanova et al., 2012) [4]. While work-specific wellbeing goes well beyond designing ergonomics [5], human enhancement is a functionalist approach which makes reference to “alterations that increase some type of functioning” (Gyngell & Selgelid, 2016, p. 120), extending the range of things humans can do in a given environment or situation (Döbler & Bartnik, 2022) [6]. This intervention appeals to the technological measures people and organizations use to meet the work environment requirements. The motivational background of each application of Human Enhancement in a work context is the idea that technology can be used to directly target specific capabilities of the working human, to contribute to individual and/or organizational goals (Pustovrh et al., 2018)[7]. Human enhancement in the form of specific equipment is already part of a work environment or process (e.g., many employers provide their employees with free coffee) [8].

Work - specific wellbeing and ergonomic fit 

By extending the range of office conveniences we reiterate the importance of ergonomic chairs as critical office equipment. Contemporary office chairs propose an artistry of technology and color, both an expression of positive organizational governance, and, in terms of color, a voice of employee’s diverse personality nuances. In terms of ergonomic design, probably the highest visual complement to organizational image is being offered by the chairs with desk attached, a furniture class designated as conference room chairs. To ensure work-specific employee well-being an enterprise valuing sustainable human resource management will always focus on the correct person-environment fit. Such an approach elicits positive subjective experiences that unequivocally contribute to the construct of an organizational appreciation culture. Acknowledging and enhancing both personal attributes and the working environments leads to positive work engagement and stimulates work-specific wellbeing. Scholarship has suggested that employee engagement depends on their personal attributes, as well as the work contexts and human resources management practices of organizations [9]. Depending on industry specific requirements, such organizational initiatives are implemented with the help of anthropometric measurements. However, given the interdepartmental squeeze and pressure on buyers and sourcing managers, the purchasing process is sped up and limited to a set of basic and relational criteria such as kg and type of materials. In the industrial landscape, employee welfare plays a pivotal role in influencing company productivity and overall employee satisfaction. A crucial aspect that shapes employee welfare is the quality of the work facilities provided by the company. The incorporation of ergonomic work facilities can significantly amplify work comfort and safety, thereby mitigating the risks associated with work-related injuries or health issues. Current research focuses on assessing the ergonomic aspects of work facilities by applying anthropometric principles. This methodology involves measuring various facets of the human body, encompassing shape, size, and strength, and utilizing these metrics to customize facilities to best suit the individual requirements. Such an approach holds the potential to augment employee performance and alleviate symptoms associated with musculoskeletal disorders [10]. Evaluated towards their level of ergonomic fitness are various mission critical physical components such as tables, chairs, whiteboards, air conditioners as well as non-physical elements, such as natural lighting, noise levels and room temperature. To reach an optimal ergonomic level these environmental variables must reach an organic blend with the physical attributes of the individual user, and are to be considered as an ecosistem. For example, as the South and West oriented office layouts are generally hotter they are most suitable for full mesh or cushion-fabric office chairs, while the East and North sides tending to be cooler and shadier, indicate a better suitability for the range of full foam seat and backrest foam cushion office chairs. In order to determine the optimal levels of desk work dynamics, anthropometric methods entail measuring various aspects of the human body, encompassing shape, size, and strength. Employing anthropometric data in the analysis of workplace facilities can assist companies in optimizing the design and layout of workspaces that cater to employees' physical requirements, mitigating discomfort, fatigue, and other potential risks of injury resulting from inadequate facilities [11]. 


Motivational factors as drivers for retention

Besides individual atributes, sustainable human resource management (SHRM) views employees as a very important resource for the organization, while paying close attention to their preferences, needs, and perspectives. A recent study poses the following research question: is there any relation between factors affecting employee satisfaction (employee workplace well-being, employee development, employee retention, work engagement) and employee satisfaction in the SHRM context? Findings suggest that higher levels of employee workplace well-being (H1), employee development, (H2), employee retention (H3) was related to higher levels of employee engagement (H4), which in turn led to higher levels of employee satisfaction. The results show the mediating role of employee engagement in the relationship between workplace well-being, employee development, employee retention, and employee satisfaction (H5) [12]. Being a mark of a positively work oriented organization, sustainable HRM focuses on the development of an innovative workplace that provides a basis for internal and external social engagement allowing for greater environmental awareness and responsibility. These activities translate into promoting organizational success in a competitive environment [13]. Another study offers an overview of the key drivers of employee engagement by analyzing specifically three specific drivers, namely communication, work life balance and leadership [14]. W.A. Kahn, regarded as the father of the employee engagement movement, developed the concept of ‘personal engagement - “harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively and emotionally, during role performances.' To explain the phenomenon, Kahn associated three conditions, viz. psychological safety, psychological meaningfulness and psychological availability, which lead to employee engagement. Hewitt Associates (2004),developed an 18-item scale to measure employee engagement. They define engagement as “the state in which individuals are emotionally and intellectually committed to the organization or group, as measured by three primary behaviors: Say (Employees speak positively about the organization to others inside and out), Stay (Employees display an intense desire to be a member of the organization) and Strive (Employees exert extra effort and engage in behaviors that contribute to business success).” Engaged employees exhibit these three behaviors, namely Say, Stay and Strive. Saks (2006) extended the concept of employee engagement to include two important aspects, job engagement and organization engagement. It is widely believed that his work restored employee engagement as a serious construct. Fleming and Asplund (2007) of Gallup, in their book, titled ‘Human Sigma: Managing Employee-Customer Encounter’ define employee engagement as “the ability to capture the heads, hearts, and souls of your employees to instill an intrinsic desire and passion for excellence.” They further point out that engaged employees want their organization to succeed because they feel connected emotionally, socially, and even spiritually to its mission, vision, and purpose [15]. Therefore, by allowing them to express themselves physically, cognitively and emotionally, employees tend to promote a positive image of the organization while also advancing on the scale of adherence and dedication to the organizational goals. In simpler terms, such phenomena occurs when employees are offered a voice and a choice, suggesting significant leverage on the path of achieving professional excellence. 


Job insecurity and empowerment 

Important practitioners (Thomas and Velthouse, 1990) further developed a larger set of motivational factors into the motivation-centered theory of psychological empowerment (PE), defined initially by Conger and Kanungo (1988). They refined the model, viewing empowerment as a motivational factor linked to intrinsic task motivation and specifying the set of cognitive components aimed at generating this intrinsic motivation: impact, competence, meaning and choice or self-determination. Finally, self-determination is the perception of having a choice about what one does, and "involves causal responsibility for a person's actions" (p.673) [16]. Empowerment on the professional front becomes today more relevant than ever before. These have the power to offer a sense of control in the face of employee work related insecurities. These insecurities are fueled by the uncertainty associated with unprecedented technological advancements. More specifically, as industry verticals are gradually redefined by the technoconcept RAIA - STARA, apparently the working space and environment will be impacted as wellEmployees struggling with techno related uncertainties such as RAIA - STARA [17], may register negative associations towards task commitment, increased cynicism and depression (Brougham and Haar 2018). Perceived job insecurity is not only a consequence of anticipation of job discontinuity but also a projection of jobs becoming extinct (Nam, 2019). “Technophobes” display irrational fear toward RAIA, appearing to be abnormally anxious, and manifesting the fear of unemployment and financial insecurity. In comparison, non-technophobes feel technology generates more job opportunities while leveling socio-professional inequalities (McClure, 2018). Knowledge workers, for example, employees in research and development, do not feel threatened by RAIA, as they feel technology cannot perform creative or emotional tasks (Ili and Lichtenthaler, 2017) but may create new jobs. On the other hand, leaders in industries such as retail, insurance, and machinery manufacturing fear the loss of their jobs with the introduction of RAIA (Agrawal et al. 2017; Davenport and Ronanki 2018; Ivanov 2017) [18]. Whether your company’s activities are more or less impacted by technological advancements, acknowledging employees’ unique personal traits and offering those a voice, adds solid brick to the construction of a sustainable human resource architecture.


[1] Donaldson, Scott & Lee, Joo & Donaldson, Stewart. (2019). Evaluating Positive Psychology Interventions at Work: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Springer, International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, 4. 10, p.114. 

[2] Donaldson et. al, p. 116; [3] Donaldson et. al, p.117

[4] Barbara Sypniewska & Małgorzata Baran & Monika Kłos (2023). Work engagement and employee satisfaction in the practice of sustainable human resource management – based on the study of Polish employees, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 19(3), p. 1075.

[5] Döbler, Niklas & Carbon, Claus-Christian & Schaub, Harald. (2023). Human Enhancement Without Organizational Knowledge and by Organizational Order. Springer, Journal of Cognitive Enhancement. 1-14, p. 1.

[6] Döbler et. al, p. 2; [7] Döbler et. al, p. 2;  [8] Döbler et. al, p. 3. 

[9] Oluwatayo, Adedapo & Adetoro, Olufunmilayo (2020). Influence of Employee Attributes, Work Context and Human Resource Management Practices on Employee Job Engagement. Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, p.1

[10] Ahmad Dani Mursyid, Nadia Fasa, Billy Nugraha (2023) Analysis of workplace facilities in the Remuneration and Industrial Relations (RHI) Department using anthropometric approach, Journal Industrial Services, vol. 9, No. 2, p. 171; [11] Ahmad Dani Mursyid et. al, p. 171.

[12] Barbara Sypniewska et. al, p.1069; [13] Barbara Sypniewska et. al, p. 1072.

[14] Bedarkar, Madhura & Pandita, Deepika. (2014). A Study on the Drivers of Employee Engagement Impacting Employee Performance, Elsevier, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, p. 106; [15] Bedarkar et. al, p. 108.

[16] Llorente-Alonso, M., García-Ael, C. & Topa, G. (2023). A meta-analysis of psychological empowerment: Antecedents, organizational outcomes, and moderating variables. Current Psychology, No. 43, p. 1760.

[17] RAIA - Robotics, AI, and Automation; STARA - Smart Technology, AI, Robotics and Algorithms.

[18] Bhargava, Amisha & Bester, Marais & Bolton, Lucy (2021). Employees’ Perceptions of the Implementation of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Automation (RAIA) on Job Satisfaction, Job Security, and Employability. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, No. 6, p. 107; Intro: (Bowen, 1966, p. 9), p. 106.