Date of Conferral
The happy productive worker (HPW) theory states that happy employees perform at higher levels than unhappy employees do. Despite the explanatory power of the HPW theory, it was unknown if a happy middle-level manager would be associated with productive direct reports. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to address that gap by exploring the impact of middle-level managers' well-being and happiness on the performance of their direct reports. Key research questions examined how middle-level managers' well-being and happiness influenced the performance of their direct reports and how middle-level managers' application of the HPW theory influenced social change. Twenty middle-level managers from varied organizations participated in semistructured interviews to generate data. Data were subjected to content analysis to identify emergent categories and themes. Findings showed that middle-level managers' well-being and happiness had both positive and negative influences on direct reports' performance in that reports tended to mirror their middle-level manager's level of well-being and happiness. Whenever the middle level manager was happy, their reports' productivity increased, and whenever the middle level manager was unhappy, reports' productivity decreased. The overall conclusion was that middle-level managers' well-being and happiness in the workplace are important and offer opportunities to help direct reports to grow and to flourish in their department of the organization. Recommendations include further study of the strategies middle-level managers use to influence direct reports' advancement toward their potential. Organizational leaders may apply these findings through professional development training to enhance the growth and improve the productivity of their direct reports.