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date: 20 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, we explore the affinities between cultural symbols and positive organizational scholarship at the collective level of analysis. Drawing on the extant literature, we advance a conceptual framework that outlines three mechanisms by which symbols can have generative potency (i.e., the capability to enrich collective strengths, virtues, and capabilities in organizations). These mechanisms are: cognitive (meaning-making), affective (experienced emotions), and relational (collective connectedness). We advance ideas for future research that might probe the complexities of this process, particularly the relationships among these mechanisms, the potency of different forms of cultural symbols, and the contextual contingencies that affect symbolic potency.

Keywords: Symbols, generativity, mechanisms

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