Journal of Sustainable Social Change


As millions of individuals face the complex challenge of adopting prohealth behavior as a core lifestyle attribute, there is an ever-increasing need to take an opportunistic approach to practicing and internalizing such behavior. Time constraints, prioritization, and time mismanagement widely contribute to the perceived inability of individuals to adhere to prohealth behavior. Given vocation as a demand that constitutes approximately one third of daily life activity, the organizational setting has emerged as a context that can potentially offer a vast array of viable workplace wellness (WW) opportunities. Such initiatives go beyond framing organizations as vehicles for health behavior promotion—instead, the workplace is an institution that has the power to redefine corporate culture through the implicit indoctrination of prohealth ideals. As organizations increasingly acknowledge the critical linkage between healthcare costs and employee performance, there emerges an exigent call for the incorporation of health and wellness as foundational cornerstones of the organizational mission statement. However, the extant literature fails to provide a comprehensive model that elucidates the motivational foundations of WW initiatives. The following paper proposes a triadic model that consists of social comparison theory (Festinger, 1954), need theory (McClelland, 1951, 1961), and self-actualization (Maslow, 1954, 1970)—social cognitive theories that serve to highlight the motivational drivers of WW participation and elucidate how participation could potentially motivate individuals to affect change at the community level. Discussion concludes with perspectives on the extent to which WW participants can internalize collaboration, common purpose, congruence, commitment, and citizenship as core values and elements of social change agency.