A socially embedded model of thriving at work

Gretchen Spreitzer, Kathleen Sutcliffe, Jane Dutton, Scott Sonenshein, Adam M. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Thriving describes an individual's experience of vitality and learning. The primary goal of this paper is to develop a model that illuminates the social embeddedness of employees' thriving at work. First, we explain why thriving is a useful theoretical construct, define thriving, and compare it to related constructs, including resilience, flourishing, subjective well-being, flow, and self-actualization. Second, we describe how work contexts facilitate agentic work behaviors, which in turn produce resources in the doing of work and serve as the engine of thriving. Third, we describe how thriving serves as a gauge to facilitate self-adaptation at work. We conclude by highlighting key theoretical contributions of the model and suggesting directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-549
Number of pages13
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy
  • Learning
  • Positive growth
  • Resources
  • Thriving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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    Spreitzer, G., Sutcliffe, K., Dutton, J., Sonenshein, S., & Grant, A. M. (2005). A socially embedded model of thriving at work. Organization Science, 16(5), 537-549. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1050.0153