Rafael Ravina Ripoll, Luis M. Romero-Rodríguez and Eduardo Ahumada-Tello
Happiness management: key factors for sustainability and organizational
communication in the age of Industry 4.0
Happiness is a personal and social concept that we all aspire to at some point. In our lives, it
can come to be considered as a tool that facilitates human development in its various
individual and collective dimensions (Ahumada-Tello, 2019;Ravina-Ripoll et al., 2019a). It is
even a topic that has led to quantitative organizational indices that assess the population’s
happiness and wellbeing. From this perspective, happiness is not only a utopian guide or an
inspirational attribute but also becomes an organizing principle to improve governance and
public policy development (Esmark, 2019;Acharya, 2021). This is how, in a competitive and
complex environment, happiness can promote the development of a nation if it is oriented
toward improving the productive results of human capital from the integration of actions by
companies and governments to raise the perception of this construct (Ahumada-Tello, 2017;
Orekhov et al.,2020).
It is from the advent of an approach based on human capital that the need arises to recover a
perspective based on people as an essential asset in companies. Under this approach,
concepts such as subjective wellbeing and happiness are accessed, which are analyzed as
key factors for economic development in a global space where, due to the accelerated
emergence of technological and scientiﬁc capabilities in production processes, the focus on
the processes, tools and economic and technological results above the aspirations,
perceptions and satisfaction of the members of the organization (McConvill, 2020). In this
way, happiness management has emerged as a critical element for the development of
organizations in this new century.
The state of wellbeing has been part of the economic growth policies of the most developed
countries. This concept is associated with happiness as a key element that allows individuals
to ﬁnd a natural balance between their work and their personal, family, social and emotional
life (Dumitrescu, 2020). Like all conventions of human nature, it is part of the culture of
practically every social group. Despite the positions that philosophers, poets, diplomats and
even politicians may have, there is always a level of anxiety that has to do with the focus on
this concept, mainly on the subject of good governance, which applies to the extension of
individual perception to a collective one (Marsico, 2020).
The need then arises to consider issues such as the members and decision-makers within
the organization and the context in which corporate governance adheres to the study of
happiness as a growth strategy in the organization (McConvill, 2020). In the same way, the
value of participation is incorporated into this perspective because the role of shareholder
members has been studied, and their involvement is among a limited number of factors that
have a signiﬁcant correlation with the level of happiness that they generate.
Other fundamental aspects that have been included in the study of happiness are those that
address health issuesand the promotion of physical activities that improve people’s quality of
life. In the literature, we ﬁnd studies that have carried out the analysis of happiness
perception indices so that they can be assessed from the development of strategies that
encourage people to start or increase the practice of exercises that improve their health, as
well as the development of healthy habits that help increase people’s abilities and ﬁnally
Rafael Ravina Ripoll is
based at the University of
Luis M. Romero-Rodrı
is based at the Department
Sciences and Sociology,
Rey Juan Carlos University,
Madrid, Spain, and ESAI
Eduardo Ahumada-Tello is
based at the Facultad de
Autonomous University of
Baja California, Mexicali,
DOI 10.1108/CG-05-2022-576 VOL. 22 NO. 3 2022, pp. 449-457, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1472-0701 jCORPORATE GOVERNANCE jPAGE 449
develop their self-conﬁdence and look for alternatives that conﬁrm the result of a deep
analysis where, through the use of quality of life, areas for improvement can be found (Lee
and Yoon, 2020;Zhou et al., 2021;Danish and Nawaz, 2022).
We must not forget that, in the past two years, the COVID-19 outbreak has occurred in the
world and that it has caused serious challenges for governments, companies and people in
general. The environment surrounding organizations, people and governments, in general,
has been complex and with a high level of challenges to sustain socioeconomic operations.
The effects of this pandemic have not only attacked international markets and directly
impacted the economic growth of practically the entire world. Nevertheless, they have also
had a high emotional effect on individuals who bring their concerns and feelings to social
networks. These public demonstrations can help assess alert actions as natural affections to
happiness and announcements of opening of activities to improve the same construct
considerably. It is, therefore, important to highlight that the regions with the greatest
vulnerability to the virus are the ones that have deteriorated the most in their perception of
happiness, and it is immediately manifested in the applications that individuals use to
communicate on social networks. (Duan et al.,2021;Feng and Zhong, 2021).
To conclude this approach to the phenomenon of people’s happiness and especially its
effect on the state of wellbeing and its implications for organizations, it is important to
consider that there are other aspects where the study of this construct requires an adequate
analysis. These include information and communication technologies, which have inﬂuenced
human beings over time by disseminating knowledge, saving work time, facilitating
communications, increasing communication networks, as well as recently facilitating access
to information through the use of artiﬁcial intelligence and increasing the intellectual capacity
of individuals and organizations alike (Suhaimi et al.,2019;You, 2021). In addition to growing
productivity, improving transparency and governance, being a fundamental axis in the
construction of social capital and the empowerment of individuals through the construction of
knowledge, they have also become a latent risk for the privacy of individuals, they have
affected the labor structure and disappeared jobs, they have also impacted behavior habits
in terms of a sedentary lifestyle and physical activity and ﬁnally, they have generated a new
form of social classism where the digital world is now the way to differentiate groups. All these
aspects have been evaluated in different environments to see how ICTs have built a new
notion of happiness and the difference between countries (Maiti and Awasthi, 2020;N
Barriopedro et al.,2020;Ravina-Ripoll et al., 2019b;Ahumada-Tello et al., 2018). ICTs have
also impacted the development and planning of cities as an alternative to improve the quality
of life (Zheng and Yang, 2019;Souza et al., 2019;Musa et al., 2020) and in the use of green
technologies (Anand and Gaur, 2019).
The study of happiness now needs to be covered to carry out the proposal of strategies in
organizations and their governance scheme. People are the essential value of a company,
basically because they are responsible for the development of knowledge and, therefore, the
acquisition of value in the products and services offered to the customer market. This element
is highly complex, and the study of its motivations, emotions and intentions has been
relegated to productivity and proﬁtability. However, in a complex environment such as the
one now observed globally, it is required that people and their perceptions be taken into
consideration to increase companies’ survival.
In this special issue entitled “Happiness Management: Key Factors for Sustainability and
Organizational Communication in the age of Industry 4.0”, a series of articles are presented
that different address topics on happiness management and the factors that appear in the
work environment. a global environment and addressed by Industry 4.0. The authors discuss
different approaches to the subject of happiness in organizations and how these have been
gaining strength to face the presented technological changes.
PAGE 450 jCORPORATE GOVERNANCE jVOL. 22 NO. 3 2022
In their article “The role of consumer happiness in brand loyalty: A model of the satisfaction
and brand image in fashion”, Cuesta-Valin
´guez and N
carry out a study on the antecedents of loyalty based on the interest of academics and
professionals in the context of fashion consumption. Its primary purpose is to deﬁne a model
of structural equations using the Partial Least Squares method, where the variables of brand
image, consumer satisfaction and consumer happiness are evaluated to explain the loyalty
variable. They carried out a descriptive study and used a sample of 2,515 consumers who
statistically represent the population of Spain. Their ﬁndings conﬁrm the importance of the
three independent variables and their respective hypotheses in the development of brand
Now, Ravina Ripoll, Romero-Rodrı
´guez and Ahumada-Tello, in their article “Workplace
happiness as a trinomial of organizational climate, academic satisfaction and
organizational engagement”, propose the study of the correlations between organizational
climate, academic satisfaction and organizational commitment as factors that inﬂuence
happiness in the workplace and apply a model of structural equations to the sample
obtained from cadets of the Spanish National Police. To carry out this research, a
descriptive, quantitative, correlational, exploratory and cross-sectional empirical
methodology will be developed with a sample of 190 questionnaires from a population of
397. Structural equation modeling (SEM) shows that academic satisfaction, organizational
climate and practical organizational commitment are recommended variables for
assessing happiness within organizations. SEM shows that academic satisfaction,
organizational climate and practical organizational commitment are recommended
variables for assessing happiness within organizations.
On the other hand, there is a positive relationship between happiness and practical
organizational commitment. The same is not valid for academic satisfaction and
organizational climate parameters. However, there is a positive relationship between
happiness and practical organizational commitment. This study ﬁlls a gap in the literature on
analyzing governance models in public administration. This is particularly relevant in
professions that require a high degree of engagement with citizens, such as police ofﬁcers.
This article is one of the ﬁrst to analyze corporate governance in a public security corporation
in Spain under the happiness management approach. It contributes by offering a better
understanding of the psychosocial variables that affect the existence of good governance
(Ravina-Ripoll et al., 2021).
´rez-Escoda and Civila, in their article “Social media fostering happiness
management: three luxury brands case study on Instagram”, propose to increase the
understanding of luxury brands’ branded content strategies concerning follower’s
engagement generated or not by happiness and wellbeing feelings spread in their branded
content. The study sample was composed of the three most relevant luxury brands
nowadays: Manolo Blahnik, Loewe and Balenciaga. An exploratory-correlational quantitative
methodology was chosen; hypotheses were contrasted using ANOVA analysis with the SPSS
software. Although the study can be considered quantitative, the ﬁrst step of qualitative
analysis was applied for content analysis with NVivo QSR software, categorizing all posts (N
= 192) into three categories. Despite being different in each case, the dissemination of
branded content and corporate social responsibility shows, in general, interaction and
affective commitment with their stakeholders. In the speciﬁc case of Manolo Blahnik and
Loewe, they have prioritized their content, in the context of the pandemic, in posts related to
social welfare, happiness, mental and physical health care. There are signiﬁcant differences
in the interaction with their audience, which respond very favorably to both “Happiness” and
“Health and safety” content. This study reveals how corporate social responsibility can be
achieved using efﬁcient communications in social networks. In this way, the perception of the
sector’s image and reputation can be improved –both sectoral and organizational –which
unquestionably translates into economic gainsfor the brands (Castillo-Abdul et al.,2021).
VOL. 22 NO. 3 2022 jCORPORATE GOVERNANCE jPAGE 451
´n, Galiano-Coronil and Tobar Pes
antez, in their paper “Organizational
communication and social marketing strategies targeting Spanish consumers of fashion.
Sustainability as a form of happiness management”, have the purpose of understanding the
perception and purchase intentions of Spanish consumers toward sustainable fashion and to
see if this can guide the marketing strategy for sustainable fashion. The originality of this
study lies in its focus on sustainability to achieve happiness and satisfaction of people as a
form of governance from a social point of view (Jime
´net al.,2021). Using and
designed a mixed methodology to test the categories: knowledge, environmental concern,
product-related features and social inﬂuence. This study suggests that some implications
and advice on sustainability marketing strategy could help companies develop sustainable
fashion for Spanish consumers.
In their research entitled “Social networks as a vehicle for happiness management in
university governance”, authored by Barquero Cabrero, Caldevilla Domı
aez and Gonz
´s aim to determine whether the communication of Universities in
Madrid (Spain) on social networks through their ofﬁcial channels has caused positive results
in students’ perceptions of their trust in university institutions during the ﬁrst semester of the
2020–2021 term and to measure whether the implementation of happiness management
strategies in the communication within university governance affected students’ happiness
levels, as well as on the recognition of their belonging to the university. With an exploratory-
correlational approach and a quantitative study, this study conducted a statistical analysis
based on a general linear regression model with correlations between variables, using an
instrument to collect data, whose construct and content validity was previously assessed by
experts, which was answered by 564 students of the Degrees in Communication and
Marketing from the Complutense University of Madrid, University of La Laguna, and ESERP
Business and Law School. The Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin test and Bartlett’s test of sphericity were
implemented to analyze the correlation between variables; Cronbach’s alpha coefﬁcient and
Pearson and Spearman’s coefﬁcients were also used. Primary ﬁndings indicate that those
students who used social networks to receive news from university institutions about the
COVID-19 pandemic deem these channels ofﬁcial, sound and credible. Similarly, using
ofﬁcial information from university institutions on social networks increases students’
happiness levels. According to the authors, this is one of the ﬁrst studies to provide scientiﬁc
evidence of the relationship between happiness management and university governance.
This research has practical implications that contribute to added value to these types of
means for the university governance that seeks students’ happiness (Barquero Cabrero
an Vela, Mercader, Arango Herrera and Ruiz, in their paper entitled “Empowerment and
support of senior management in promoting happiness at work”, had the purpose of
analyzing the conditions that increase employees’ subjective wellbeing. Therefore, they
determine the relationship between the autonomy provided to employees and the support of
top management on happiness at work. They implement a quantitative, nonexperimental and
cross-sectional approach to do this. The instrument used for data collection was a
questionnaire based on validated instruments in their respective ﬁelds. This instrument was
applied to a sample of 603 workers from companies in different sectors of the north-western
border of Mexico. For the validity of the measurement construct, exploratory factor analysis
was carried out using the principal components method; Cronbach’s alpha tests were
applied to assess instrument reliability and determine the relationship of the variables in this
study. Multiple linear regression techniques were used using the least-squares method.
Results suggest that autonomy and support positively and statistically signiﬁcantly inﬂuence
the levels of happiness manifested in the workforce. It concludes with the importance of
valuing practical organizational governance actions to increase happiness in the workforce.
This research is limited to a nonprobabilistic sample. A regional geographic area was
surveyed, so results cannot be generalized. It also explains happiness at work based on only
PAGE 452 jCORPORATE GOVERNANCE jVOL. 22 NO. 3 2022
two organizational behavior variables. A thorough analysis is recommended. Results of this
study facilitate decision-making by top managers, especially about best business practices
that create a harmonious state among its workers and allow the company to improve
performance. Authors consider that this study facilitates the understanding of happiness in
workers from the actions of senior managers and has leverage to develop human capital
retention strategies. In the study of happiness at work, just under 400 documents were found
under the terms associated with Happiness and Business, so it contributes to theory
an Vela et al.,2021).
´rez, Medina-Merodio, Estrie
´gana and Jimenez-Naranjo indicate that in their
paper “Money cannot buy happiness: improving governance in the banking sector through
spirituality”, they had the purpose of proposing a model to develop happiness in the banking
sector based on an improvement in the spirituality of employees. To do this, they followed
Schwartz’s model for behavioral transformation and proposed a new path based on
developing the transcendent vision of work. The data obtained were analyzed using the
partial least squares-SEM method.
Their discoveries found that, contrary to the general idea that happiness is orientated toward
the enjoyment of goods, bank employees prefer to develop spiritual values and resources
that allow them to respond adequately to massive layoffs and pressures at work. The
researchers found that the bank employees’ schedules made it difﬁcult to organize group
sessions. Multiple sessions prevented us all from interacting. As practical implications, they
established a training strategy for the pursuit of happiness, proposed actions orientated
toward happiness and introduced transcendence and spirituality as requirements for ﬁnding
happiness during daily work. In the social value of this paper, it is a need to recover traditional
values and principles daily. This will have a positive effect on communities and social
interaction. A new concept has been coined: spiritual resources. This new variable can help
to combat adversity by exploring the meaning of transcendence at work (Robina-Ramı
According to Kawalya, Kasekende and Munene, in their paper “The interaction effect of
psychological capital on the relationship between self-driven personality and happiness at
work in the present and post-COVID-19 era”, they have a purpose of examining how
psychological capital (PsyCap) and self-driven personality fuse to affect happiness at work in
the nursing profession in Uganda. To do that, in this article, they adopt a cross-sectional
descriptive and analytical design and then they use SEM to test their hypotheses. Using
proportionate and simple random sampling procedures, a sample of 900 respondents was
drawn from different hospitals in Uganda, of which a response rate of 88.9% was obtained.
Their ﬁnding discovered that the magnitude effect of self-driven personality on happiness at
work depends on PsyCap, implying that the assumption of nonadditivity is met. The authors
indicate that only a single research methodology approach was used, and future research
through interviews could be undertaken to triangulate and validate their ﬁndings. As practical
implications, the authors mention that to boost happiness at the workplace, heads of
hospitals should always endeavor to ﬁnd a viable self-driven personality and PsyCap blend
that can add value to nurses’ happiness in Uganda. Health resource managers need to
understand how self-driven personality and PsyCap foster happiness among nurses in
Uganda. And ﬁnally according to the authors, this is one of the few studies that focus on
testing the interactive effects of PsyCap on the relationship between self-driven personality
and happiness in the workplace in Uganda (Kawalya et al.,2021).
´guez and De Lucas Santos, in their paper entitled “Tax compliance, public
spending, and happiness in Europe”, indicate that their purpose is to analyze whether tax
compliance is the basis for the short-run dynamics of welfare development and happiness.
The strengthening of corporates and citizens’ tax compliance is vital to achieving ﬁscal policy
VOL. 22 NO. 3 2022 jCORPORATE GOVERNANCE jPAGE 453
goals and is part of the values that can generate a higher level of welfare and happiness in
This study analyzes the transmission channels and relationships of three very complex
variables: tax compliance, public spending and happiness, with a short-run perspective. To
do this, the authors use a dynamic factor model to offer new indexes that allow to monitor tax
compliance, public spending and happiness trajectories and evaluate their short-run
relationships. Next, an analysis of the cyclical characteristics in terms of duration, amplitude
and intensity is provided using the Harding and Pagan method.
In their empirical ﬁndings, they show that the European countries were able to reinforce tax
compliance during the expansionary periods of the economy, and this has made it possible to
increase public spending and, indirectly, happiness. Otherwise, this paper shows that the
contractions of public resources during the global crisis, such as COVID-19, reduced the
possibilities of wellbeing in Europe and made it more difﬁcult to increase public spending and
happiness. By doing this, the authors have opened a new line of research. Therefore, these
results should be considered the ﬁrst step to unravel the complexity of these relationships.
Individuals and corporates contribute to a fairer and more equitable society through
compliance with tax obligations. As a practical implication, the design of policies aimed at
improving individual, corporate and the wellbeing of nations needs them to incorporate
elements of tax compliance as a goal that has economic and social implications. According
to the authors, this is the ﬁrst paper that offers evidence on the short-run dynamics of tax
revenue, public spending and happiness to better understand their relationships and
behavior during the different periods of the economy (Delgado-Rodrı
´guez and De Lucas-
´guez, in her manuscript “Inﬂuence of the entrepreneur’s personal values in
business governance style and their relationship with happiness at work”, looks to ﬁnd the
personal values of the entrepreneur. As a secondary goal, Foncubierta-Rodrı
whether these values are associated with certain entrepreneurs based on socio-
demographic factors (gender and age). To complete her goal, she selected a group to study
in the Spanish business community. Then an exploratory study is carried out, ﬁrst, with the
deﬁnition of value constructs according to Schwartz’s personal values model and, second,
with a relational analysis, measuring association effects through logistic regression. In her
ﬁndings, two higher-order personal values of the entrepreneur seem to contain all the
elements that would lead to management styles that would facilitate happiness at work.
These values emerge from a dimension model of Schwartz’s theory of fundamental human
However, MVP does not follow its four adjacent/antagonistic dimensions but is composed of
three dimensions adjacent to each other and, therefore, complementary. Moreover, some
stereotypes in the literature on the relationships between personal values and certain socio-
demographic factors are broken down, and their effects on happiness at work are revealed.
One of the limitations of this work is the relatively small sample size. Another limitation is that
this is a portrait of the group at a given time. Given the experimental nature of this type of
work, especially in the case of socio-demographic factors, it would be advisable to carry out
a follow-up longitudinal analysis with a time horizon. It would also be worthwhile considering
this study by sector: are the values the same for entrepreneurs in a different sector.
It would be interesting, as a complement to the approach of this work, to carry out a study on
the happiness at work of the entrepreneur’s employees, being the group of employees
surveyed. As mentioned above, from the methodological point of view, a risk of using the
multidimensional scaling modeling for the analysis of personal values is that the respondent
reﬂects more on what he/she considers socially desirable than his/her accurate perception.
This bias is one of the main limitations of psychological research. Despite the above
limitations, this paper makes signiﬁcant contributions. On the one hand, at a theoretical and
PAGE 454 jCORPORATE GOVERNANCE jVOL. 22 NO. 3 2022
instrumental level, it shows that the higher-order values graph of Spanish entrepreneurs
follows the circumplex essence of the Schwartz value model. In the case of entrepreneurs, it
consists of three dimensions. A methodology is created to portray the Spanish entrepreneur
in an axiological. These dimensions are weighted, in turn, by issues such as gender or age
group. The type of leadership or management expected is a factor. Individuals make
important decisions and choices about their relationships in the work environment based on
the alignment of their values with those of the party they want to engage with.
The decision by international institutions for countries to implement the sustainable
development goals (SDGs) (UNSDG 2030 Agenda) as cross-cutting strands of their policies
has boosted the idea of addressing happiness at work. On the other hand, it can serve
entrepreneurship educators. This study can also have social implications, making its tiny
contribution to the SDGs through the study of personal values that guide the entrepreneur’s
behavior. Thus, SDG 8 talks about Decent Work. In addition to the priority of improving the
conditions of groups living in discriminatory working environments. Workers spend a large
part of their lives at work. SDG 8 aims to ensure that people have quality employment,
increasing their productivity and consumption potential. The role of speciﬁc higher-order
personal values of the entrepreneur is highlighted, making him/her tend toward the realization
of happiness management practices. Furthermore, through the methodology used, a model
of the entrepreneur’s higher-order values has been established, which can be used to
generate reasonable expectations about his/her way of governance and to what extent it is
close to a framework conducive to happiness management.
In the last paper entitled “The Spanish home care workers between job vulnerability and
happiness in times of crisis”, authors Mı
´a aim to analyze the wellbeing experience of home careworkers regardless
of the service management model. It also aims to analyze their emotional experiences and
working conditions. This study uses a mixed analysis with qualitative and quantitative
approaches, and better understands home care workers’ wellbeing experience. The main
ﬁnding indicates that home care workers experience intrinsic job satisfaction and
demonstrate this with positive emotions regardless of their work situation. According to the
authors, this is a pioneer study in Spain and introduces a greater understanding of how home
care workers in Spain experience their work reality. The practical implications of this paper
specify that caring for the career should be a business value. Measures oriented toward
workers’ comfort generate greater happiness and commitment, which is automatically
transferred to the quality of the care provided and reduces the psychosocial risks of their
professional activity. In social implications, this paper visualizes the social reality of an
essential profession through research that generates veriﬁable evidence that will help improve
the working conditions of homecare workers in Spain (Mı
´nguela-Recover et al.,2021).
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