Compassion at large has touch points to all departments at Arcada, and this project is part of a larger endeavor to explore and teach compassion within and across disciplines. The project spans over three years (2020-2022) and has four separate but tightly interconnected objectives: a) course development b) empirical research in organizations and among students and staff in Arcada, c) arranging a series of international workshops, and d) theoretical research with national and international collaborators and outputs.
The overall purpose of this research project is to, both theoretically and empirically explore the relationships between leadership, satisfaction/frustration of basic psychological needs, self-care, compassion satisfaction, and compassion fatigue, by answering the following research questions:
How can organizations and leaders encourage compassionate acts as an employee engagement tool to enhance compassion satisfaction?
How can students in different professions be taught compassion?
How can leadership and organizational practices support the satisfaction of basic psychological needs of employees, thereby enabling compassion satisfaction and preventing compassion fatigue?
How can leadership promote/foster self-care to avoid employee compassion fatigue and burn-out?
The research project builds on in-depth empirical understanding of compassion in organizations and education. The survey data together with the unique qualitative data will result in articles published in leading international journals, a book on comprehending compassion, and a number of international conference papers. The course, as well as the empirical material will be the base to building complementary theoretical and empirical frameworks. These will be published in different research articles that describe the essential nature and characteristics of compassion as practice, preferably in open access outlets.
Expected societal impact
The practical objective of the project is to develop compassionate practices, which improve the quality of decision making and communication in Finnish organizations, specifically within the health care and social work professions. Although the core of the empirical research is conducted in health care and social work -organizations, understanding the dynamics between organizational work and compassion will have implications for private sector work environments, such as media organizations and beyond.