A Recipe for Thriving? The worker’s perspective on the experience and self-regulation of thriving

Susan Moran, Daniel R. Hale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and objectives: Thriving, as a psychological concept, is the joint experience of vitality and learning. Research suggests that the individual has the potential to use their sense of thriving as an internal gauge of their well-being. The purpose of this paper is to report on the worker’s experience of the thriving state and on their ability to self-regulate this state.
Method: The study is qualitative, and the method is thematic analysis and semi-structured interviews. The sample consisted of ten participants: four employees and six small business owners. The participants were interviewed on one occasion for sixty minutes.
Results and discussion: The participants’ experience of thriving was represented by four themes: understanding, awareness, attitude, and reciprocity. Their ability to self-regulate the thriving state evolved into a question of choice. The researchers identified three archetypes each making different choices: the beings who desire a constant state of vitality and learning; the hybrids who are more focused on the learning component of thriving; and the doers who navigate energy peaks and troughs. The participants have experienced elements of each archetype over the life cycle of their careers.
Conclusion: All findings confirm that thriving is a dynamic state as suggested by its learning component. Workers are playing an active role and their experience changes over time. Their thriving state depends not only on themselves as closed systems but on how they engage with others and their context. Their behaviour is a collection of reciprocal transactions that is dependent on self understanding, self-awareness, and attitude. Thriving is unique to each worker. It is dependent on their understanding of who they are and what they need at that point in time.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Positive Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2021


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