• Omar van der Heijen

Happiness as strategy

Happiness drives people to flourish. This offers opportunities for business to stimulate both employees and consumers for gaining a strategic advantage. Research indicates that the performance of happy people can increase up to 12% whilst maintaining the quality of their work (Oswald, Proto, & Sgroi, 2015). On the other hand, people lose up to 10% of their performance when they are unhappy (Oswald et al., 2015). Thus, an employee's subjective well-being plays a significant role in their performance and can be actively influenced on the onset. On consumer-level the effects are also influential and recommended to consider for design. The perceived value of a product-service system and its solutions is dependent on the current state of their subjective well-being. Happy people experience the solution offerings as more valuable than unhappy people (Hellén & Sääksjärvi, 2011a&b). The effect of these solutions on the subjective well-being of users is possible to design as well (Sääksjärvi & Hellén, 2013). There are multiple directions that offer opportunities to design for improved subjective well-being. Moreover, in doing so it is important to focus on communication between stakeholders for correct implementation of the value that is being designed. Theory offers a variety of strategies for company's to focus their organizational and business efforts on stimulating happiness of its stakeholders. Happiness in these cases is cause for a strategic advantage in some shape or form.


Oswald, A. J., Proto, E., & Sgroi, D. (2015). Happiness and productivity. Journal of Labor Economics, 33(4), 789-822.1)

Hellén, K., & Sääksjärvi, M. (2011a). Happiness as a predictor of service quality and commitment for utilitarian and hedonic services. Psychology & Marketing, 28(9), 934-957.

Hellén, K., & Sääksjärvi, M. (2011b). Happy people manage better in adverse services. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 3(3), 319-336.

Sääksjärvi, M., & Hellén, K. (2013). How designers and marketers can work together to support consumers' happiness. International Journal of Design, 7(3).

  • TU Delft

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