Positive Organizational Psychology

Click here for an Overview of the Field of Positive Organizational Psychology.

The applications of Positive Psychology to improving the performance and the quality of work life are immediate and clear. The new knowledge created through Positive Psychology research is aimed to improving organizational effectiveness and the work life of all individuals. We seek students committed to creating or improving socially responsible organizations ready to meet the challenges of an increasingly diverse workforce, global economy, and global community.

Click here to read about Rewarding Careers Using Positive Psychology to Improve Organizational Effectiveness and the Quality of Worklife.

Click here to get the latest information about the World Congress on Positive Psychology in Los Angeles, June 2013.


Leaders in Positive Psychology Discuss Applications of the Field

Online video is available of leaders in the field of Positive Psychology gathering to discuss the future of the discipline at Claremont Graduate University. Follow this link to "Applying the Science of Positive Psychology to Improve Society" to watch.

Faculty in Organizational Science

Positive Organizational Psychology at Claremont is led by one of the founding fathers of the field, Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Graduate students are taught by and have access to a network of approximately 50 graduate faculty in psychology.  A subgroup of faculty working across the organizational sciences provide mentoring and research support for students in the positive organizational psychology program.  Research specialties in this vibrant faculty body span a wide range of topics—click on the links below for in-depth descriptions of their research.


Stewart Donaldson
Dean and Chair of Psychology

Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi

Jeanne Nakamura

Michelle Bligh

Ronald Riggio

Michael Hogg

Diane Halpern

Jean Lipman-Blumen

Maritza Salazar

Vijay Sathe

Becky Reichard

Jeffrey Lewis
Paul Zak

Follow this link for a complete list of faculty who teach and supervise students in our psychology programs.

Academic Coursework

Coursework in the Positive Organizational Psychology program includes a combination of required and elective courses.  A selective sample of courses regularly taught includes:

  • Foundations of Positive Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Doctoral Seminar in Industrial Psychology
  • Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Theory
  • Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Development & Change
  • Advanced Topics in Positive Psychology
  • Positive Psychology Research Practicum
  • Flow – The Psychology of Positive Experience
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Good Work
  • Appreciative Inquiry for Organizational Change
  • Positive Organizational Scholarship
  • Organizational Learning - Theory & Practice
  • Organizational Culture
  • Leadership
  • Theory & Practice of Consulting
  • Adult Development – Classic and Positive Perspectives
  • The Study of Experience
  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods

Together, these courses provide students with the theoretical, methodological, and practical experience to pursue careers in academe, or in a wide range of high-level research and consulting positions.

For full program requirements, click here:

Research Opportunities

The goal of the program is to train doctoral students in research involving important issues affecting the quality of life. Students are encouraged to develop their own research agenda, based on their individual interests in the future of Positive Organizational Psychology. Opportunities for apprenticing on Center research are likely to include:

  • Mentoring and professional socialization
  • Research on everyday experience, using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM)
  • Secondary analysis of databases on the development of interests and habits in childhood and adolescence
  • Positive aging and alternatives to retirement after age 60
  • Planning international data collection on the flow experience

Applied Aspects of the Program

Students are encouraged to apply their skills and knowledge in collaborative projects with institutions such as schools, workplaces, or social service agencies interested in improving the experience and lives of their constituents. These might involve evaluation studies of work satisfaction, flow, and engagement; or interventions aimed at enhancing the quality of experience of students and workers. The Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, through its research arms (the Claremont Evaluation Center and the Institute for Research on Social Issues), has a broad network of external funders and both private and public connections in the world of applied research.