What makes for an exceptional positive organizational intervention?

We are very excited to announce the 2017 Positive Organizational Intervention Challenge, a competition for IPPA members to submit innovating positive psychology interventions for the workplace. Students, researchers and practitioners, individually or in small teams of up to three people, can develop a broadly applicable intervention based on established research findings and can then demonstrate how the intervention might be applied to a specific set of circumstances.

To Get Involved: Submit an Abstract

Submit a one-page abstract describing the presenting problem the intervention is intended to address, the proposed intervention (e.g., workshops, training, policy changes), and the research evidence that supports the intervention.

Abstracts should be single-spaced, in 12-point font, with 1-inch margins. A team of IPPA specialists, including our advisors Arnold Bakker, Kim Cameron, Fred Luthens, Marisa Salanova and Lea Waters, will evaluate submissions and determine 10 semi-finalists. The semi-finalists will then submit a short (3-5 minute) video to present their interventions. All members can then vote for their favorite video, and three winners will be selected to present their interventions to the public three panelists at the IPPA conference*. The first prize will consist of 500$, and the second and third places will earn themselves 250$ each. We encourage all members interested in submitting to submit, practitioners, students and researchers!

Email your abstracts to:  gregory.hennessy@cgu.edu by February 15th.

Before the Congress: Semifinalists Selected

Those selected to move on to the semi-finals will prepare a short (3-5 minute) YouTube video presentation elaborating on their proposed intervention. Semi-finalists’ videos will be made available to IPPA members, and three finalists will be selected based on a combination of member votes (75%) and division leadership and Congress committee votes (25%).

At the Congress: Finals

The three finalists will have 8-10 minutes to present their proposed intervention to a panel of positive organizational psychology experts. After each presentation, the panel will have 5-8 minutes to ask questions and otherwise probe the presenters. After all three finalists have presented, the panel will discuss the presentations privately then announce a winner. Time permitting, a short discussion of the strengths of each proposed intervention would conclude the program.

Competition Timeline:

January 10, 2017 – Initial announcement and call for entries

February 1, 2017 – Final announcement and call for entries

February 15, 2017 – Initial entries due

March 15, 2017 – Semi-finalists announced

April 15, 2017 – Semi-finalist videos due

May 20, 2017 – Finalists announced

July 2017 – World Congress – Finals competition / Winner Announced

Criteria for Selection of Semi-Finalists

Case for Intervention: Call for Positive Approach
In what way would a Positive approach address the problem in a way that traditional approaches haven’t?
Case for Intervention: Impact and Outcomes

What outcomes are at stake for the organization? How will the intervention have an impact on them?

Theoretical and empirical foundation

What evidence from theories and research findings indicate that your intervention will be effective and have a significant effect?

Quality of Intervention

How well built in your intervention? Is it applicable in a typical work setting?

Does the proposed intervention apply positive psychology in a novel way?


Positive Organizational Intervention Challenge

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it only for interventions at the design stage, or can field tested interventions be submitted?

A: The challenge is geared toward interventions that are in the design or development stages. Our goal is to encourage innovation and successful implementation of evidence-based interventions. If you have already field-tested an intervention, then you’re already able to refine your intervention based on the implementation experience and the Challenge probably won’t offer you much value.


Q: Are citations and references included in the abstract?

A: Please use APA-style citations in the abstract. References will not count toward the one-page limit and can be listed on a second page.


Q: Should I include credentials and affiliations in the abstract?

A: Simply provide your contact information along with your submission. Identifying information will be removed from abstracts or will be disguised prior to evaluation. Finalists selected to present at the Congress will be asked to provide biographies.

Questions can be posted below, on the Division’s LinkedIn group page under the Positive Challenge thread, or emailed to gregory.hennessy@cgu.edu.

*Finalists will be expected to register for the Fifth World Congress by July 1, 2017. Registration, travel and accommodations are the responsibility of each attendee.