Summary of The Progress Principle

Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work

Harvard Business Review Press, more...

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The Progress Principle book summary
Small steps lead to big leaps in work progress.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


Husband and wife research psychologists Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer wanted to explain how positive and negative work environments evolve and how they affect employees’ “creative problem solving.” The authors elicited daily diary entries from 238 people working in three industries at seven different companies. Respondents rated their work lives and described “positive, negative or neutral” events. The authors link “inner work life” and performance, and then relate case studies to provide guidelines for facilitating progress. getAbstract recommends this significant, revealing – though occasionally dry – book to leaders at every level.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why progress is a primary influence on people’s attitude toward their work,
  • How employees’ “inner work lives” affect their performance, and
  • What techniques managers can employ to facilitate progress and promote positive inner work lives.


What Triggers Low Morale?
Karpenter (not the company’s real name) was a successful American firm that developed and produced power tools, small appliances and cleaning implements. However, when it reorganized under a new executive management team, its business suffered a slow downward ...
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About the Authors

Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile is a psychologist and research director. Researcher and consultant Steven Kramer is a developmental psychologist.

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    Rudi Janse van Rensburg 2 years ago
    A must read for everyone in a leadership role.
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    Zeljko Gorunovic 4 years ago
    Pretty good and usefull

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