Living the good life: A meta-analysis of authenticity, well-being and engagement

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The ‘good life’ is described by philosophers and psychologists as consisting of authentic expression of self, a sense of well-being, and active engagement in life and work. Well-being and employee engagement are outcomes of value in themselves to work organisations, but also improve performance and reduce turnover. This meta-analysis tests the relationships between authenticity and well-being, and authenticity and engagement, investigating the impact of several moderators: age, gender, sample type, conceptual measure and individualism-collectivism. Systematic searches identified 75 studies (well-being = 65, engagement = 10) with a total N == 36,533. Analysis revealed a positive relationship between authenticity and well-being (r == 0.40) and between authenticity and engagement (r == 0.37). Individualism and type of measure were significant moderators, but age, gender and sample type were not. Specific recommendations are made for researchers choosing measures of authenticity, well-being and engagement. The study also highlights the need for further research on the interaction of culture and authenticity, as the majority of studies rely on Western / individualist conceptualisations and measures. Overall, the meta-analysis demonstrates that authenticity has positive implications for individual well-being and work engagement and could provide an important path to building healthy work organisations.




Sutton, A. (2020). Living the good life: A meta-analysis of authenticity, well-being and engagement. Personality and Individual Differences, 153.

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