The Positive Functioning at Work Scale: Psychometric Assessment, Validation, and Measurement Invariance


The PERMA framework (Seligman 2018) presents five building blocks of well-being - positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment. However, Seligman (2018) suggested the original five building blocks are highly predictive of well-being but certainly not exhaustive. This research attempted to expand the PERMA model in the workplace with four new building blocks of well-being - physical health, mindset, environment, and economic security. Study 1 utilized nine subject matter experts (SMEs) to content analyze and evaluate an item pool for scale development. In Study 2 (N=300), an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) extrapolated nine dimensions of positive functioning at work (PF-W) with a random sample of full-time employees recruited on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk). The purpose of Study 3 was to validate the PF-W scale and test its ability to predict work outcomes. Findings from 727 full-time employees supported a general factor of PF-W with nine lower-order dimensions. The measure exhibited convergent, discriminant, criterion, predictive, and incremental forms of validity with other well-being (Diener 1985; Luthans, Youssef and Avolio 2007) and performance measures (Griffin, Neal and Parker 2007), as well as measurement invariance across job function. The Positive Functioning at Work Scale provides a comprehensive measurement tool that can inform future workplace programs and interventions. It also predicts important work outcomes, such as turnover intentions, job-related affective well-being, plus individual, team, and organizational adaptivity, proactivity, and organizational proficiency.

Journal of Well-Being Assessment, 4(2), 181-215
Dr. Scott I. Donaldson
Dr. Scott I. Donaldson
Senior Research Associate