Article

Discriminating Between ‘Meaningful Work’ and the ‘Management of Meaning’

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Abstract

The interest in meaningful work has significantly increased over the last two decades. Much of␣the associated managerial research has focused on researching ways to ‹provide and manage meaning’ through leadership or organizational culture. This stands in sharp contrast with the literature of the humanities which suggests that meaningfulness does not need to be provided, as the distinct feature of a human being is that␣he or she has an intrinsic ‹will to meaning’. The research that has been done based on the humanistic paradigm has been quite fragmented. This article aims to address these gaps through an action research project that actively involved participants in the process of affirming and uncovering the meaningfulness of their work. Our findings contribute to current organizational scholarship and practice as they (a) enable scholars to clearly distinguish ‹meaningful work’ from ‹the management of mean- ing’, (b) bring together the various sources of meaningful work in one framework and show their relationship with each other, (c) clearly show the importance of engaging with both the inspiration towards the ideal as well as the often less than perfect self and the organizational reality in which meaning gets expressed and (d) contribute to our understanding of how to engage individuals in conversations about meaningful work that are not prescriptive or exclusive, but that also show where meanings are commonly held.

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... For example, organizations can play a crucial role in promoting an ethical workplace through responsible and ethical leadership (e.g., Bailey & Madden, 2016;Wang & Xu, 2019) and to provide working conditions that can encourage employees to find meaningful work (Ciulla, 2012;Michaelson et al., 2014). While studies have indicated the importance of normativity in work (e.g., Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Michaelson et al., 2014), when meaning becomes 'a form of normative control' (Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009, p. 492), the possibility of an authentic sense of meaningful work is challenged. Thus, concerns have arisen as to who has the power to determine meaning at work (Harding, 2019) as prescribed organizational practices or cultures may clash with individuals' subjective interpretations of meaning (Carton, 2017). ...
... Rights reserved. level phenomenon (Lepisto & Pratt, 2017) and a property of human beings (Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009). Existing studies have shown how individuals often need to satisfy personal motives, goals and ambitions (see Bailey et al., 2019aBailey et al., , 2019b. ...
... Weak formal institutions (e.g., law enforcement), for example, can influence meaning-making resulting in tensions between the notion of relational ethics and personal struggles in addressing moral issues (Vu, 2021). Organizations may, however, control or prescribe meaning and subvert an individual's subjective meaning-making process (Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Michaelson et al., 2014). Such potentially manipulative or emotivist approaches to leadership (Sinnicks, 2018) can control meaning and trap employees into accepting harmful working conditions which can lead to a sense of alienation Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009), or highlevels of adaptive preference (Nussbaum, 1997;Sen, 1985) whereby individuals may revise down their expectations in which work can be meaningful (Vu, 2020). ...
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This paper argues that the principles of spiritual traditions provide normative ‘standards of goodness’ within which practi- tioners evaluate meaningful work. Our comparative study of practitioners in the Buddhist and Quaker traditions provide a fine-grained analysis to illuminate, that meaningfulness is deeply connected to particular tradition-specific philosophical and theological ideas. In the Buddhist tradition, meaningfulness is temporal and rooted in Buddhist principles of non-attachment, impermanence and depending-arising, whereas in the Quaker tradition, the Quaker testimonies and theological ideas frame meaningfulness as eternal. Surprisingly, we find that when faced with unethical choices and clashes between organizational normativity and spiritual normativity, Buddhist practitioners acknowledge the temporal character of meaningfulness and compromise their moral values, whereas in contrast, Quaker practitioners morally disengage from meaningless work. Our study highlights how normative commitments in different spiritual traditions can influence different levels of adaptability in finding work meaningful and stresses the central importance of normative commitments in meaningful work. Our study concludes with practical implications and future pathways for inter-disciplinary research.
... This has formed part of new ways to align the human need for a purposeful working life with workplace effort. A stream of organisational studies have been devoted to guide managers on ways to "provide and manage meaning" through organisational mission/culture (identity with the work of the organisation), interpersonal relationships (sense of belonging), job design (interacting with beneficiaries when it is possible) (Chalofsky, 2003;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Michaelson et al., 2014). In contrast, meaningful work by ethical employment practices including supportive line manager, fair pay and empathetic employment terms and conditions have been overlooked (Bowie, 1998;Van Buren & Greenwood, 2013;Yeoman, 2014). ...
... Organisational study scholars have contributed to our understanding of the motivational effect on employees through "providing or managing" the meaningfulness of one's work. This line of thought tends to focus on organisational mission restatement, job design, and interpersonal relations typically through line manager support (Lips-Wiersma 2009;Michadelson et al. 2014). Meaningful work, therefore, can also be achieved/experienced when supervisors create a supportive and helpful working environment. ...
... Organisational research has also revealed the motivational effect through providing and managing meaningfulness at work. This line tends to focus on interpersonal relations such as the important role of line managers (Lips-Wiersma 2009;Michadelson et al. 2014). Extant studies show that line managers are seen as the symbolic personification of the organisation to many staff, and their positive attitudes and helpful responses to various work events are perceived as signs of organisational support (Mossholder et al., 2005;Rosso et al., 2010). ...
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Developed from meaningful work and business ethics, we investigate the motivational effect of meaningful work on paid staff (not volunteers) with a “shortage” of ethical employment practices situated in the Not-for-Profit sector. We tested the traditional notion of meaningful work by nature and by line manager support (under its business-like practices) to compensate for the “sacrifice” (low pay and job stress caused by poor employment terms) of front line staff working alongside professional managers paid the market rate. Using a mixed-method case study, we employed SEM modelling to analyse a staff survey of 125 valid responses and administrative records of staff resignation, alongside interviews. The results show that meaningful work by nature and by line manager support are positively and significantly associated with job satisfaction but neither has a significant effect on staff resignation action. There is no empirical evidence to support the compensating effect of meaningful work by nature; meaningful work by line manager support has a stronger effect only through reduced job stress, rather than compensating for the low pay, in preventing resignation. The qualitative analysis reveals that continued low pay and using precarious employment contracts have evoked the questioning of ethics of employment practices in this sector. We discuss the implications and suggest further areas of research.
... Furthermore, recent research provides ample evidence that workers in low-skilled jobs, characterized by low levels of formalized technical knowledge and skills, narrow task autonomy and few training and development opportunities, find ways to make their work satisfying and meaningful (Deery et al., 2019;Findlay & Thompson, 2017;Wrzesniewski et al., 2003). Adding to the discussion, the review also considers alternative MW perspectives that focus on the intra-subjective dynamics of individuals' accounts that render work worthy and meaningful (Lepisto & Pratt, 2017;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009), or discuss leadership practices and organizational cultures that infuse work with meaning (Carton, 2018;Pratt & Ashforth, 2003;Rosso et al., 2010). Based on the literature review, we argue that such approaches provide invaluable perspectives on MW that offer important questions for approaching MW in low-skilled work. ...
... A widely shared ontological understanding in the humanities approach to MW is, in reference to classic humanist psychological theory, people's powerful will to experience their work as purposeful and worthy (Bunderson & Thompson, 2009;Lepisto & Pratt, 2017;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009). This informs the understanding that meaningfulness does not consist of a stable set of experiences that can be activated under certain circumstances but refers to intra-and inter-subjective dynamics that shape workers' ongoing sense-making (Lepisto & Pratt, 2017;Lips-Wiersma et al., 2016;Wrzesniewski et al., 2003). ...
... This informs the understanding that meaningfulness does not consist of a stable set of experiences that can be activated under certain circumstances but refers to intra-and inter-subjective dynamics that shape workers' ongoing sense-making (Lepisto & Pratt, 2017;Lips-Wiersma et al., 2016;Wrzesniewski et al., 2003). A prominent lens that represents such dynamics is the notion of self-transcendence Bunderson & Thompson, 2009;Lips-Wiersma and Morris, 2009). For example, Madden and Bailey (2019) suggest that MW is work that has value and purpose, offering opportunities for workers' self-realization by bringing together the 'inner and the outer life'. ...
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Theoretical and empirical contributions to meaningful work (MW) have flourished in the last two decades; investigating how the interplay of organizational factors with employee attitudes and experiences enables or denies MW. This paper reviews MW literature in the fields of management and organizational behaviour, political philosophy, the humanities and sociology with the aim of identifying and comparing conceptualizations of MW and how they relate to low‐skilled work. The review illustrates that a wide range of MW concepts either interpret low‐skilled work as bereft of essential sources for MW, or focus exclusively on workers’ innate drive to make meaningful experiences and thereby neglect the politics of working life. Making the point that low‐skilled work can also be meaningful, the paper develops a framework for low‐skilled work that has at its heart the interplay between the unique characteristics and dynamics of the labour process and workers’ agential responses. The framework rests on a combination of labour process analysis and industrial relations approaches, along with sociological concepts of agency. It develops three interdependent conceptual dimensions of core autonomy, respectful recognition and derived dignity that aim to capture MW in low‐skilled work settings. The framework contributes to vibrant debates in the MW literature by showcasing how meaningfulness emerges through bottom‐up collective and individual practices, relations and strategies that are reflective of the formal structures, demands and relations of low‐skilled work.
... Additionally, meaningful work is intended as a positive experience that responds to the individual's quests for meaning in their work and life. However, empirical evidence of the extent to which work is experienced as meaningless are unclear and not yet examined Groeneveld, Leisink, Tummers & Den Dulk, 2011;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009). Likewise, the role of individual differences behind the working conditions is still not clear, since the current empirical examinations have rarely addressed how personal and organizational characteristics might affect meaningful work experiences (Hofmeister, 2019). ...
... Additionally, despite the positive impacts of meaningful work, work may be experienced as meaningless and individuals may suffer the lack of valuable, worthwhile, and dignified work. However, questions about the extent to which work is experienced as meaningless are vague and not properly explored despite the large literature on meaningless work (Bailey, Madden, Alfes, Shantz & Soane, 2017;Groeneveld et al., 2011;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Yeoman et al., 2019). ...
... In religious orientation, agnostics reported lower levels in each dimension except for the meaningless work scale. Several studies have shown a closeness between meaning in work and religion, where work is discussed as something more than a mere survival wish for people with a religious orientation (Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Martela & Pessi, 2018;Ward & King, 2017). In line with this, the agnostic orientation might be considered as a tendency of being highly sceptical or perhaps even indifferent (Schnell & Keenan, 2011) which might affect the appraisal of meaning in work. ...
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This paper introduces the Meaning in Work Inventory (ME-Work), a psychometric scale formed by examining meaning in work theories in analogy with the meaning in life research evidence. The ME-Work is a modular questionnaire aimed to assess three independent aspects of meaning in work, i.e., work as a source meaning (module 1), meaningful and meaningless work (module 2), and facets of meaning in work, namely, coherence, significance, purpose and belonging (module 3). An Italian sample of 624 participants completed a survey regarding personal and organizational characteristics in addition to the ME-Work. Both confirmatory analysis and structural equation modelling have been used to respectively assess psychometric properties of the Italian version of the ME-Work and the associations of the three modules. A series of MANOVAs examined socio-demographic differences in ME-Work dimensions. The contribution ends by discussing the results and limitations of the study. Further avenues for research and practice are presented.
... Indeed, Bailey and Madden (2015) found that academics, refuse collectors and stonemasons -although from very different professions -all described their work as meaningful because of its positive contribution towards a greater good and its value for future generations. A number of scholars report that an individual can find meaning from even the most mundane work task if they can connect it to a larger, more significant, cause (Allan, Duffy & Collison, 2018;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009), in particular if they have contact with the beneficiaries of their work (Grant et al., 2007;Grant, 2008;Grant & Hoffman, 2011a;b). Therefore, work with transcendent benefits elucidates feelings of meaningfulness because it allows the individual to feel that they serve a wider purpose in society. ...
... Opportunities for learning and skill development in employment can evoke feelings of meaningfulness. Several studies have found that work is meaningful if it results in personal growth through ongoing learning; there is inherent meaning in successfully mastering new skills (Allan et al., 2016;Bowie, 1998;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;. Developing our abilities boosts self-esteem and promotes feelings of worthiness, which naturally enhances the feeling that our life-and ourselves in it-has significance and meaning (Rosso et al., 2010). ...
... The meaningful employment literature has been dubbed as 'painfully elitist' (Rosso et al., 2010) because it predominantly focuses upon the experiences of middle-class professionals. Indeed, several studies admit that white and highly educated persons are overrepresented in their samples (Allan et al., 2016;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Hirschi, 2012). Even where lower-status and less-skilled occupations are examined, for example, Bailey and Madden's (2015) study which included refuse collectors, these have not included employees under the age of 18 or those with a history of persistent offending. ...
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Experiencing meaningfulness at work is important for employee engagement, individual performance, and personal fulfilment. However, research surrounding meaningful employment has predominantly focused upon the experiences of well-educated, adult professionals. To expand theoretical understanding of this concept, this paper investigates perceptions of meaningful employment among youths from Northern England (aged 16–18) with a history of involvement in crime. Interviews demonstrate that young offenders’ criteria for ‘meaningful work’ differ from existing research and is influenced by their self-concept and inherent values as youths from chaotic and impoverished backgrounds. This highlights the subjectivity of this concept. Nonetheless, the findings also indicate that there are instances where work itself makes a broader contribution in discovering meaning, and therefore, certain organisational practices are experienced as meaningful by both young offenders and adult professionals. Thus, this study demonstrates the importance of surveying diverse populations to reach a more comprehensive understanding of meaningful employment.
... Similarly, the humanities might cultivate a tolerance for uncertainty, complexity, and being present, all of which are not only vital to navigating an ever-changing healthcare environment but also to finding meaning and purpose in one's work beyond the mere achievement of measurable abilities or pay-for-performance targets. Specifically, what this might look like in practice can be gleaned from action research conducted by Lips-Wiersma and Morris [56], which "actively involved participants in the process of affirming and uncovering the meaningfulness of their work" through insights from the humanities. Through interactive workshops that employed art and poetry, a total of 216 participants across various occupations were engaged in an experience of meaning-making that offered "maximal space to uncover and express personal meaning" [56] (p. ...
... Specifically, what this might look like in practice can be gleaned from action research conducted by Lips-Wiersma and Morris [56], which "actively involved participants in the process of affirming and uncovering the meaningfulness of their work" through insights from the humanities. Through interactive workshops that employed art and poetry, a total of 216 participants across various occupations were engaged in an experience of meaning-making that offered "maximal space to uncover and express personal meaning" [56] (p. 499). ...
... 499). As the authors observe, "participants had clearly articulated beliefs that coming to terms with an imperfect self in an imperfect world is of existential significance" and that "work is considered to be more meaningful when one can be aware of imperfections, not knowing" [56] (p. 506). ...
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Throughout the fields of medicine and organization studies, there are growing indications of the value of the humanities for enriching scholarship, education, and practice. However, the field of healthcare management has yet to consider the promise of the humanities for illuminating its particular domain. This perspective paper explores how the humanities might begin to play a role in healthcare management by focusing on three broad areas: (1) understanding the lived experiences of management, (2) offsetting the "tyranny of metrics", and (3) confronting rather than avoiding anxiety. While preliminary in presentation, these areas are intended to facilitate wider consideration of the humanities in healthcare management and to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue. The paper also identifies actionable approaches that might be derived from such a dialogue, including substantiating critical healthcare management scholarship, collaborating with humanities educators to design novel curricula, proposing alternatives to unduly circumscribed performance targets and competency assessments, creating case studies of formative experiences of practicing healthcare managers, and advancing guidelines for better managing anxiety and its concomitant stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue in healthcare organizations. The paper concludes by discussing the potential risks of incorporating the humanities into healthcare management, while also offering a prospective synthesis from an interdisciplinary approach.
... Thus, definitions of MW impact upon what is emphasized as a source of meaning/lessness. Similar tensions emerge in theoretical approaches to facilitating meaning, such as in addressing others' needs versus oneself (Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Lysova et al., 2019;Bailey et al., 2019b). ...
... Due to the limited number of studies identified, we also included the qualitative and narrative studies from Bailey et al. (2019a) that adopted a humanities definition of meaningful work, which overlaps with the psychological definition and our methodological approach. Out of the 12 empirical studies they classified as humanities, we identified seven that used a qualitative narrative approach (Bailey & Madden, 2016;Pavlish & Hunt, 2012;Bunderson & Thompson, 2009;Lips-Wiersma, 2002;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Thory, 2016). Lysova et al. (2019) identified three articles about "personal narratives," which all drew upon qualitative data from a psychological perspective (McAdams & Pals, 2006;Schabram & Maitlis, 2017). ...
Article
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Meaningful work (MW) is an important topic in psychological and organizational research with theoretical and practical implications. Many prior studies have focused on operationalizing MW and distinguish between the attributes of a job that make it meaningful, such as task variety or significance, and the affective experience of meaning during work, such as the feeling that what one does at work is meaningful. However, most empirical research focuses on the former definition and utilizes quantitative scales with deductive questions that omit what people find important in their experiences. To address this, we conduct a qualitative investigation of psychological narratives focusing in-depth on the quality and content of feelings of meaningfulness and meaninglessness during experiences at work—crucially, without any framing around task attributes. We introduce the term affective eudaimonia to describe these experiences. Overall, our results corroborate many existing thematic findings in the MW literature, such as the importance of connecting and contributing to others and avoiding confinement. We also offer new findings: Although the way that people give language to meaningless narratives is more descriptive, vivid, and experiential in tone than meaningful narratives, meaningless narratives are also more structurally static and constrained. We use these results to inform practical suggestions to promote day-to-day experiences of meaning at work and provide a basis for further academic discussion.
... Specifically, this article examines public service managers' meaningfulness-making process (Vuori et al., 2012)-the process by which workers make sense of their work and work environments to make their work meaningful. Finding meaningfulness in work, while subjective and innate to individual experiences, is fostered or discouraged by organizational settings and management (Bailey et al., 2017;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009). Here, the influence of neoliberal modes of working on managers' meaningfulness-making process is explicitly accounted for. ...
... The scholarship on meaningfulness in work explores the significance of work for individuals' sense of meaningfulness while underscoring the ongoing relationship between the worker, the worker's work environment, and one's experience of meaningfulness. Researchers and practitioners alike have a growing interest in exploring and capitalizing on how workers' ability to find meaningfulness in work leads to positive individual and organizational outcomes, ranging from improved worker well-being, job satisfaction, retention, and productivity (Bailey et al., 2017;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Rosso et al., 2010). Meaningfulness in work refers to the "amount of perceived or felt significance [work] holds for an individual" and its "positive valence" cognitively and affectively (Rosso et al., 2010, p. 95; see also Wrzesnieski et al., 1997). ...
Article
Public service work and public-serving institutions are evolving by incorporating neoliberal modes of working more and more. Contemporary research oftentimes neglects to account for these changes in how we understand public service work, however. This article draws on the meaningfulness in work and public service motivation literature to explore how public service workers are making sense of their work and work environments to create meaningful work experiences under evolving conditions. The findings from 45 interviews with public and nonprofit managers are presented and compared. The changing world of work has implications for how public and nonprofit workers narrate and find meaningfulness in work but not what they find meaningful about their work. The findings suggest that both public and nonprofit workers create positive meaningfulness in work but in dissimilar ways. The findings also suggest that organizational leaders play a substantial part in workers’ meaningfulness-making process. The findings hold theoretical and practical implications for understanding the role workplaces and organizational leaders play in workers’ experience of meaningful public service work.
... It relates to employees' wellbeing, mental health, motivation and performance, and job satisfaction (Fouche et al. 2017;Steger et al. 2012;Parker and Bevan 2011). On the part of the organization, MW promotes organizational citizenship and commitment, work engagement, increased productivity, employee retention, and reduction of employee cynicism (Michaelson et al. 2014;Lips-Wiersma and Morris 2009;Cartwright 2006 ). Decline in job satisfaction has adverse effects to the company in terms of frequent tardiness and absences of workers, high employee turnover, and strained communication between management and employee. ...
... Many managers may not share the metaphysical commitments of Buddhism but it is a fact that in today's global economy where most things are interconnected, no work is accomplished in complete isolation without connecting the worker with other persons and with the natural world. There are evidence-based studies that indicate how harmonious interpersonal relationship in the workplace, perceiving one's job to benefit some greater good, and work-life balance are positively connected with MW (Fouche 2017 ;Fourie 2015;Munn 2013;Steger, et al 2012;Duchon and Petchsawanga 2012;Dane 2011;Marques 2010;Valentine et al 2010;Lips-Wiersma and Morris, 2009;Ayers, et al 2008). Service to the community is identified as a source of meaning for what some degrade as dirty work, e.g. ...
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This study adds to the existing literature on meaningful work by offering a cross-cultural perspective. Since work shapes the kind of person that we are and plays an important role in our well-being, some theorists have adopted a virtue theory approach to meaningful work using an Aristotelian-MacIntyrean framework. For lack of a better term, I will call this a western virtue theory. This paper presents a contemporary virtue-focused Buddhist perspective on the topic. While a virtue-ethics interpretation of Buddhism is now widely accepted and has been applied to several issues, not much has been written about meaningful work using a Buddhist-Aristotelian comparative framework. Buddhism is an important cultural component not only of countries that are predominantly Buddhist, but of other societies that have come in contact with it. To develop a Buddhist framework, I draw heavily from the works of Buddhist scholars, particularly in the West who use a virtue framework in interpreting Buddhism. The aims of my essay are dual. The first is to articulate a straightforward application of Buddhism on the contemporary ethical discussion of meaningful work. The second is to discuss the similarities, clarify the differences, and demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses relative to each other of the Buddhist and the Western virtue theory perspectives. In my analysis, I will argue that consideration of Buddhist perspective will enable us to construct a cross-cultural, inclusive, and pluralistic conceptual model for the deliberation of meaningful work that complements the Western virtue theory.
... One recommendation for a follow-up study is to use the CMWS instrument to measure the importance and frequency of the four dimensions of meaningful work within the cusp cohort to identify differences [78]. Such data would be useful in providing a more nuanced understanding regarding definitions of meaningful work for specific generational cohorts. ...
... Organization leaders can influence employee meaning of work positively by developing a value-laden mission, setting goals, establishing purpose (Rodríguez-Carvajal et al., 2018), providing ethical guidance (Brown and Treviño 2006), cultivating an organizational identity, and inspiring employees to work toward a collective purpose (Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Rosso et al., 2010). This influence is likely to be more commonplace in social ventures than in commercial ones. ...
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As a rapidly growing field of study, social entrepreneurship is increasingly receiving attention from scholars and practitioners because social ventures have the potential to contribute to economic growth and social innovation. Surprisingly, the role of leadership in social venture growth has received very limited attention. One reason for this omission may be that entrepreneurship and leadership evolved as separate domains. Applying leadership theory to social ventures can help scholars and managers understand how social entrepreneurs can manage the environmental risks, dual mission, and legitimacy issues of social ventures. Our goal for this conceptual paper is to describe how social entrepreneurs can align employees with the seemingly inconsistent goals of social and economic value creation to improve venture performance. We do so by concentrating on a leadership style applicable to their dual mission—servant leadership. Drawing from theoretical underpinnings and examples from single case studies, we offer a research framework and related propositions that delineate how servant leadership style affects social venture performance through the perception of work meaningfulness, well-being, and job engagement. We contribute to theory building by uncovering how social entrepreneurs can share their personal passions, values, and obligations with their employees and inspire them to meet their dual mission, paying attention to the context of social ventures and the attributes of the employees they attract. We also discuss theoretical and practical implications for social entrepreneurship and offer future research directions.
... This means that the opportunity entrepreneurs can relate their work and their identity (Baron, 2010). This is essential for experiencing meaningfulness in their work (Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Rosso et al., 2010). ...
Article
The purpose of this study is to show how autonomy, competence and meaningful work serve as mechanisms through which opportunity entrepreneurship leads to higher levels of wellbeing, and how this relationship may be altered by the country’s level of individualism. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor data for 37 countries and 14,514 individuals that are active in early stage entrepreneurship are used to investigate the relationship between opportunity entrepreneurship and wellbeing. To account for the nested nature of our data, we use a multilevel model to assess how factors of autonomy and competence as components of self-determination and meaningful work as a component of decent work mediate the opportunity entrepreneurship and wellbeing relationship. We also test the moderating effects of individualism cultural dimension at the country level on the relationship between opportunity entrepreneurship and wellbeing.
... Other influential meaningful work contributions come from the field of humanities. Even though this field is wide, one unifying characteristic is the understanding of meaning making as a deeply human feature that enables workers to build a strong connection of work activities with their wider life purpose in the context of one's personal gifts and society's needs (Lips-Wiersma and Morris, 2009;Yeoman et al., 2019). This literature places a strong emphasis on the subjective experience of meaningful work, defining it as an 'authentic connection between [. . ...
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In the last decade, research on the nature, impact and prospect of meaningful work has flourished. Despite an upsurge in scholarly and practitioner interest, the research field is characterized by a lack of consensus over how meaningful work should be defined and whether its ingredients are exclusively subjective perceptions or solely triggered by objective job characteristics. The disconnection between objective and subjective dimensions of meaningful work results in a hampered understanding of how it emerges in relation to the interplay of workplace, managerial, societal and individual relations. The article addresses this gap and introduces a novel sociological meaningful work framework that features the objective and subjective dimensions of autonomy, dignity and recognition as its key pillars. In this way, a framework is offered that analyses how meaningful work is experienced at the agent level, but shaped by wider dynamics at the structural level.
... The literature on meaningful work remains highly fragmented (Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Lysova, Allan, Dik, Duffy, & Steger, 2019), despite efforts to combine it. Former empirical efforts indicated that instead of simply the extrinsic appeal of a salary, a clear intrinsic value for people is the meaning that they derive from their work (Jena, Bhattacharyya, & Pradhan, 2019;Simonet & Castille, 2020). ...
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Orientation: This article is about the experience of meaningful work for self-employed individuals. Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore how meaningful work is experienced by self-employed individuals. Motivation for the study: Research tends to focus on meaningful work from either the formally employed individual or the organisational perspective, and very little research has included the perspective of self-employed individuals. The number of employed individuals considering self-employment, however, has increased since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which triggered a global recession that has resulted in a substantial number of job losses and questionable job security in various employment sectors. Research design/approach and method: This was an interactive qualitative study to explore the experience of meaningful work for self-employed individuals. A social constructionist paradigm was adopted to study participants’ attitudes towards their work, their values and feelings, what drives them and their perceptions of meaningful work. Data was collected and analysed from a purposive sample of five self-employed individuals. Main findings: This study revealed that purpose is the primary driver in self-employed individuals’ experience of meaningful work. Purpose facilitates feeling stimulated and creative expression. Cooperation encourages participation in meaningful work. Fulfilment is the primary outcome of self-employed individuals’ experience of meaningful work. Practical/managerial implications: Self-employed individuals can create opportunities for meaningful work. This study provides an understanding of the experience of self-employed individuals when they perform work they consider meaningful and the implications thereof. Contribution/value-add: This study complemented existing literature on meaningful work and literature on self-employment, and may facilitate the experience of meaningfulness by the growing number of self-employed individuals.
... Thus, whereas the central research question in Hu et al. (2015) speaks to how the interaction between POQ and peer OQ affects employees' in-role and extra-role performance, we focus on understanding how this interaction leads to an ethical outcome, namely, work meaningfulness. Our focus is important because work meaningfulness is an ethical issue concerning whether employees have a moral right to pursue meaningfulness at work and whether organizational have a moral obligation to establish the conditions for meaningful work to occur (Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009;Michaelson et al., 2014). Further, whereas previous research suggests that it is the diminished quality of work (e.g., in terms of skill underutilization) that makes overqualified employees' work less meaningful (Thompson et al., 2013), we explain how workplace interpersonal mistreatment (i.e., peer ostracism) may undermine the meaningfulness of work. ...
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Integrating victim precipitation theory with the belongingness perspective of work meaningfulness, this study investigates the interplay among employee perceived overqualification, peer overqualification, and peer ostracism and examines how peer ostracism, in turn, leads to subsequent reduced work meaningfulness. In Study 1, a time-lagged field study of 282 employees, we found that employees who felt overqualified, while working with peers who were less overqualified, experienced more ostracism, which was associated with reduced levels of work meaningfulness. These findings were replicated in Study 2, using time-lagged multi-source data collected from 300 employees working in 51 teams. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings and identify directions for future research.
... Most mana gerial-based research focused on studying ways of supplying and managing the meaningfulness, for instance through leadership or organizational culture. Most of these researches, however, turn out to be scarce and fragmentary, a large variety of sources of meaningful job being available which, however, do not handle their reciprocal relationships (Faraci, Lock, & Wheeler, 2013;Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009). ...
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This study is aimed to assess the effect of both employability and personal resources, in terms of pro-activity and self-efficacy, on the relationship between job insecurity and psycho-social distress. Using survey data from 211 participants, among employed, unemployed and workers in transition, we analyzed the incidence of employability, pro-activity and self-efficacy on psycho-social distress. Our results showed that the above-mentioned variables significantly differed by participants’ gender and age. The structural theoretical model proposed to assess the significance of the hypothesized paths exhibited good fit with the data. Thus, all our hypotheses were supported. Findings are in line with previous research, and practical implications may give significant effects when applied in new labor policies undertaken by local governments.
... Interviewees explain that this can be difficult in times of economic downturn. We interpret balance in a way that egotism and altruism go hand in hand, drawing a parallel with individual purpose (Lips-Wiersma, 2002;Lips-Wiersma and Morris, 2009). Any disbalance will lead to either an unhealthy focus on profit, competitive advantage, or growth (e.g., Friedman, 1970;Jensen, 2002). ...
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... 129) Likewise, Bailey and Madden (2016 p. 13) observe that "There is a widespread agreement that people find their work meaningful in an interactional context in two ways, firstly, when they are in contact with others who benefit from their work, and, secondly, in an environment of supportive interpersonal relationships." There are evidence-based studies that indicate how harmonious interpersonal relationship in the workplace, perception that one's job benefits some greater good, and work-life balance are positively connected with meaningful work (Tommasi, et al. 2020;Yeoman, et al. 2019;Fouche 2017;Fourie & Deacon 2015;Michaelson, et al. 2014;Munn 2013;Lips-Wiersma & Morris 2009). Yet still, few studies have specifically examined interpersonal and relationship virtues, which are called soft skills, as sources of meaningful work, especially in non-Western societies. ...
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A number of paradigms have been proposed to understand the sources of meaningful work, but a non-Western approach has attracted little attention. Because some authors have argued that meaningful work has positive valence that has eudaimonic rather than hedonic content, a virtue-ethics approach to meaningful work has been used. Virtue ethicists acknowledge that our work and places of employment have a profound influence in shaping our character and living a fulfilled life. This study aims to make a theoretical contribution toward an understanding of meaningful work from a virtue-ethics framework that is culturally meaningful and relevant to Filipino realities and their distinct heritage. It will develop a conceptual model for a Filipino view of meaningful work that could guide both researchers and practitioners in business ethics by explaining what is meaningful work, justifying why it is important, and presenting some examples of concrete measures that management can utilize to promote meaningful work in the Philippine workplace. By integrating Filipino virtues in conceptualizing meaningful work, I believe that a theoretical advancement is made toward a pluralistic and multicultural understanding of the concept, especially through the lens of virtue-ethics.
... In this sense, Steger et al. [64] argue that the positive valance of meaningful work has a more eudaimonic (growth-and purpose-oriented) rather than hedonic (pleasure-oriented) focus. This can also be found in organizational psychology literature where the focus is on the subjective experience of work as an influencing factor on existential significance or purpose in life [40]. Moreover, Dik & Duffy [17] discuss that perception of one's work to be meaningful and to serve a higher purpose characterize the work as "calling", which leads to higher job satisfaction. ...
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... How does meaningfulness of work relate with worker's affective commitment in health ministries, South-South, Nigeria? What is the relationship between meaningfulness of work and worker's engagement in health ministries, South-South, Nigeria? impact on the viewpoints and attitudes of an individual for the rest of his or her lifetime (Lips-Wiersma & Morris, 2009). Individuals may experience a variety of cognitive, emotional, behavioural, and economic benefits as a result of increasing the meaningfulness of their work in their lives (Steger, Dik & Duffy, 2012). ...
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... There has been increasing interest and research into understanding meaningfulness of work through various theoretical concepts over the last two decades (Bowie, 1998;Michaelson, 2008;Lips-Wiersma and Morris, 2009) as well as through empirical research Madden, 2016, 2019). Meaningfulness of work has become a major research topic within Positive Organizational Studies since the beginning of the 21 st Century (Cameron et al., 2003) and has been written about by many scholars from various disciplines (Bailey and Madden, 2017;Bailey et al., 2019). ...
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This paper attempts to clarify the meaning of meaningfulness at work as a moral issue in contrast to meaningfulness in work itself and shows how it is linked to employees’ dignity and well‐being in the workplace within business organizational settings and practices. It critiques work-life balance and argues for integrating meaningfulness at work within the work-life continuum for a life well lived. Many factors contribute to our understanding of meaningfulness at work; however, this paper shows the link between meaningful activity and well‐being and argues for the just context of the workplace rooted in self-respect to ensure employees’ dignity in the workplace. In this regard, it introduces the concept of ‘employeeship’ as a counterpart (not followership) to leadership. It shows the importance of the normative context of well‐being, which requires the minimal and common conditions of freedom as non‐domination and recognition for employeeship. Based on these conceptual understandings, this paper briefly discusses some of the implications for leadership and concludes with further research on this critical topic of interest.
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Where talent is recognised not by cause but by effect, management action was the cause, delivering results the effect. This aspect of core management competence provides the fundamental basis of the role of the manager. It is the ability to achieve goals through action; the ability to take action through rational, inclusive decision-making; the ability to make rational decisions based on a combination of evidence, intuition and emotional intelligence. Amongst the knowledge and skills required to do so are an understanding of what counts where the manager decides what they must do as opposed to what they might do, a demonstration of systems thinking to relate management action and decision-making to the wider organisation and taking meaningful action that genuinely matters. The attitudes and behaviours associated with this competence are the willpower to get things done and purposeful, consistent, conscious and energetic behaviour. A clear communication of expectations will underpin the ability to drive performance. The manager will make decisions with a good understanding of their own action styles and the effect these will have on the workforce, for whom they are both directly and indirectly responsible. Furthermore, these will be linked by knowledge and understanding; cooperation and collaboration; communication and engagement.
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Conference Paper
The contribution presents evidence of the role played by personal and organizational characteristics of employees in the experience of meaningful work. As referred to the individuals’ experience of value and significance of their work, meaningful work is a critical working phenomenon both for individuals (e.g., individuals’ well-being) and organizations (e.g., workers’ productivity). Therefore, a large number of studies have tried to understand its antecedents, however, it is still not clear about how and to what extent personal and organizational characteristics are associated with meaningful work. For instance, it is unclear the roles of a higher level of education as well as financial returns or good working conditions (e.g., high level of salary and good health insurance) for the pursuit of meaningful work. The contribution considers such a need for knowledge and aims to understand the antecedent role of personal and organizational characteristics in the experience of meaningful work. 570 Italian employees participated in a cross-sectional study that comprised measures of meaningful work and related facets, as well as questions on personal and organizational characteristics. Data were analyzed via the MANOVAs and results showed significant associations with meaningful work dimensions and personal characteristics, such as education, social class and health as well as organizational characteristics, such as job contract, job sector and salary.
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Purpose Despite the advancement, it appears that much has to be done to clarify the understanding of the effects of the meaning of work (MOW) in the lives. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explore such a theoretical stream by means of the Spiritism Doctrine (SD) tenets. In fact, the spiritual knowledge derived from this religion alludes to aspects worthy of investigation. Design/methodology/approach Religious lens serves as a robust frame to approach the MOW, given that people’s beliefs likely shape their view about work. Toward that end, it examines pivotal aspects of MOW literature and the SD revelations thereof. Findings The wise revelations and teachings from the spirits examined throughout this paper suggest that work embraces one of God’s laws. In this regard, the SD tenets deepen this by providing sound explanations, reflections and arguments about the MOW, as well as highlighting that we all must do the best in the work regardless of the profession or activity. In doing so, this paper is serving the neighbors by fulfilling or at least mitigating their needs and consequently engaging in something indefinitely greater than the own desires, that is, the celestial Father’s wish. Practical implications There is no denying that the knowledge brought by the SD, as a source of transcendental epistemology, has deep implications for workers and organizations likewise. Overall, such knowledge enriches the understanding of a very important theme to human beings through an understudied but also insightful lens. Originality/value Therefore, this essay contributes to the MOW through transcendental epistemology (Maslow, 1993). Rather, it focuses on a very sensitive issue (work) and its corresponding implications to mankind through the knowledge of a spiritual and religious framework. In addition, such endeavor also adds to the field of management, spirituality and religion Interest Group of Academy of Management.
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The notion of the subjective dimension of work has its roots in Catholic Social Teaching. This essay offers a Buddhist perspective on this topic. Although there is no distinction between the subjective-objective dimensions of work in traditional Buddhist texts, Buddhist teaching on karma contains implicit affirmation of the subjective dimension of work as the source of the morality of work, and this notion is a useful explanatory framework in understanding right livelihood in contemporary setting. While Buddhist perspective on subjectivity of work is consistent with the view of Catholic Social Teaching, consideration of Buddhism in our conceptualization of the subjective dimension of work will challenge us to revise and expand the concept and practice of meaningful work to integrate the wellbeing of workers, interpersonal relationships, meditative practice (mindfulness) and concern for the environment.
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Recent efforts to consider quality of (work) life rather than mere economic subsistence in determining living wages have received increasing attention. However, it remains unclear how increased income translates into quality of life. Previous research found curvilinear relationships between income and capability development, suggesting contextual influences. This conceptual paper proposes a framework of decent work with five dimensions (reproductive–material, social–communicative, legal–institutional [participation], status and recognition, meaningful–subject-related) with living wages at its core, enriched by employment- and work-related factors. Furthermore, we argue that capability development results from both living wages and decent work contributing to need satisfaction. Since different needs are satisfied differently, we propose each of the five dimensions of decent work to be predominantly related to a specific set of hierarchically ordered needs. Finally, we apply this framework to explain the shape of the curve that links income and capabilities. While higher income satisfies basic needs and triggers capability development up to a satiation point, psychological and self-fulfilment needs become more salient for capability development beyond that point. Individual, organizational, and country-level context factors outlined in this paper should be considered in future investigations of how living wages impact individuals.
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This study adds to the existing literature on meaningful work by presenting a contemporary virtue-focused Buddhist view. While a virtue-ethics interpretation of Buddhism is now widely accepted and has been applied to several issues, not much has been written about meaningful work using a Buddhist-Aristotelian comparative framework. To develop a Buddhist approach, I draw heavily on the works of Buddhist scholars, particularly in the West who use a virtue framework in interpreting Buddhism. The aims of my essay are dual. The first is to articulate a straightforward application of Buddhism to the contemporary ethical discussion of meaningful work. The second is to discuss the similarities, clarify the differences, and demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses relative to each other of the Buddhist and the Western virtue theories. In my analysis, I argue that while Buddhism is not an alternative to Western virtue theory, it offers significant contributions to the latter's approach to meaningful work and even corrective to some of its limitations. Integration of Buddhism in our theorizing of meaningful work from a virtue-ethics perspective helps us to better understand ourselves and the virtues that we cultivate in the workplace and develop a holistic and cross-cultural conceptualization that is relevant to our global economy. Meaningful work (MW) is defined as the degree of significance that employees believe their work possesses. Although it is an established area of scholarship, researchers who have studied this topic still encounter a number of difficulties. To begin with, there is little consensus on what exactly makes work meaningful. From a philosophical standpoint, the search for meaning is an essential part of being human. Thus, MW according to Lips-Wiersma and Morris (2009, 657) "finds its roots in the humanities rather than in management theory." They also (2009, 508) express the need to consider differences in cultural and spiritual beliefs in studying MW. Most studies in this area are Western-centric, with very few attempt to consider non-western and cross-cultural perspectives (Michaelson et al. 2014). The question on whether MW varies across cultures is rarely addressed. In this global economy where major companies outsource their production in different countries and people of diverse cultural and religious background interact in the workplace, there is a growing need to compare and contrast how different cultures view MW.
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p> This study aims to determine the role of the two dimensions of calling, namely search for calling and presence of calling on the work meaning, and the difference in the level of meaningful work in the four categories of calling, namely calling diffusion, calling foreclosure, calling moratorium and calling achievement on Forestry employees. With purposive sampling, we obtained 130 employees who had worked for at least one year. The questionnaires used were the Calling and Vocation Questionnaire and the Comprehensive Meaningful Work Scale that had high-reliability scores. Using stepwise linear regression technique and ANOVA, we found that only the presence of calling has a significant role in the work meaning, and calling diffusion has the lowest level of work meaning compared to other categories Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui peran dari kedua dimensi panggilan yaitu search for calling dan presence of calling terhadap makna kerja, sekaligus mengetahui perbedaan level makna kerja pada keempat kategori panggilan yaitu calling diffusion, calling foreclosure, calling moratorium dan calling achievement pada karyawan BUMN Kehutanan. Penarikan sampel penelitian menggunakan purposive sampling dan diperoleh partisipan sebanyak 130 karyawan, yang telah bekerja minimal 1 tahun. Kuesioner yang digunakan adalah Calling and Vocation Questionnaire dan Comprehensive Meaningful Work Scale yang memiliki nilai reliabilitas yang tinggi. Data dianalisis dengan regresi linier teknik stepwise untuk mengetahui peran terbesar dari kedua dimensi panggilan, dan ANOVA untuk mengetahui perbedaan level makna kerja pada keempat kategori panggilan. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa hanya presence of calling yang memiliki peran signifikan terhadap makna kerja, dan kategori calling diffusion memiliki level makna kerja yang paling rendah dibandingkan kategori lainnya. </p
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This chapter examines the argument that corporate social responsibility (CSR) creates opportunities for meaningful work. The chapter develops a conceptual framework that integrates five different perspectives: personal responsibility; meaningful job characteristics; dignity and freedom; worthy work; and strong sustainability. However, while these conditions are necessary they are not sufficient, in themselves, to create more opportunities for meaningful work in a CSR context. Specific contextual features need to be in place to support meaningful work. These include an ethical corporate culture, embedded CSR, bottom-up CSR, CSR driven by human and planetary well-being, and an intent to move to a post-CSR paradigm.
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We argue that proactive work behavior’s future orientation allows individuals to establish a connection with the future, and thus to experience their work as meaningful. We further expect that this effect is enhanced when individuals are faced with an unpredictability of the future in their core job. We tested our hypotheses in three independent studies with employees. We first established the effect of PWB on work meaningfulness in a scenario‐based experiment (n=140). A second experiment (n=116) replicated this and also demonstrated that the effect was not driven by the benefits of proactive work behavior to others. A daily diary study (n=107, k=391) showed that day‐level proactive work behavior was positively associated with daily work meaningfulness, and that this effect was again independent from having benefitted others. The results also confirmed that this relationship was stronger when an individual’s job was characterized by unpredictability of the future. Our findings highlight the active role employees play for the experience of work as meaningful and suggests that encouraging proactive work behavior may be one avenue to promote work meaningfulness.
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The shift to a remote work environment introduced new barriers to inclusion that calls for reimagining the contexts and cultures that individuals are now working in. Key impacts of an inclusive culture discussed in this article are feelings of belongingness and engaging in meaningful work. Sustaining an inclusive culture, means that employers will need to re-think critical organizational forces such as leadership that are needed to reinforce a culture of inclusion. Implications for human resource development (HRD) will emphasize how emergent research of an inclusive, remote work environment creates opportunities to engage in trans-disciplinary research that informs practitioners on how to reimagine the changed landscape of work.
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Abstract Purpose - The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between workplace spirituality (WS) and teachers’ professional well-being (TPW). Additionally, to scrutinize the mediating role of the construct of positive psychological capital (PPC) between the two constructs. Design/methodology/approach - Data were gathered from 345 teaching professionals employed in Indian higher educational institutions. The associations were verified through covariance-based structural equation modeling (SEM), mediation analysis performed and further verified through Preacher and Haye's (2008) method. Findings - Results indicated an epochal positive relationship between WS and TPW. Further, PPC partially mediated the relationship between the two constructs. Practical implications - The inner source of spirituality among teachers can be tapped to cope with occupational stress levels thereby augmenting the sense of professional well being. Psychologically clear and receptive minds are indispensable in the process of teaching. Originality/value - There is a paucity of research linking the relationship between WS, TPW, and PPC, specifically in the higher education sector. Keywords - Workplace spirituality, positive psychological capital, teachers’ professional well-being, teaching professionals Paper type - Research paper
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Purpose The paper examined the mediating effect of meaningfulness of study on the relation between self-efficacy and academic programme satisfaction within higher education setup. Design/methodology/approach A total of 376 randomly selected students took part in the study by completing a self-reported survey. Data were analysed using PLS-SEM. Findings Results suggest self-efficacy and meaningfulness of studies positively predict student's satisfaction with academic programme. Besides, meaningfulness of study mediates the relation between self-efficacy and student's satisfaction of academic programme. Originality/value This study is one of the first to provide empirical evidence of the influence of meaningfulness of studies on self-efficacy and student academic programme satisfaction in the higher education context.
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A relatively recent emphasis on increased authenticity in the workplace has opened conversations that have previously been considered out-of-bounds within organizational dialogue. With this emphasis has come an invitation for employees to bring their “whole self” to work. An individual's religious beliefs and spiritual inclinations are often at the heart of their so-called true self. Thus, as organizations have encouraged greater authenticity, discussions regarding religiosity and spirituality have followed. While there are some inherent dangers in incorporating religiosity and spirituality into the workplace, the primary purpose of this chapter is to show three natural ways in which these important parts of an individual's identity can be—or already are being—situated into existing and accepted areas of research. Thus, this theoretical piece provides a brief examination of the literature in the fields of positive organizational behavior, meaningful work, and employee engagement and will, in the process, analyze areas of crossover between these and religiosity and spirituality.
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Research conceptualized meaningful work as an important resource reducing work-related strain. Literature has however neglected the possibility that the relationship between meaningful work and strain may be bidirectional. Based on Conservation of Resources theory and the attention view on stress, we therefore simultaneously examine the relationship between strain and meaningful work in a cross-lagged panel study with 983 participants. We demonstrate that meaningful work reduces employees’ degree of strain more than a month later. Vice versa, the strain that employees experience at work also reduces the degree to which they perceive their work as meaningful. These results indicate that while meaningful work serves as an important psychological resource reducing strain, it may, itself, prove susceptible to high levels of strain.
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Offering customization services via online toolkits has emerged as a growing trend among luxury brands. Previous studies in this domain have largely focused on how customization influences product evaluations and purchase intentions. Our research identifies a novel effect of luxury product customization by showing that customized luxury offerings can positively affect subjective well-being. Three experimental studies provide empirical evidence for this prediction and establish the underlying process driving the effect. Specifically, Study 1 shows that the heightened feelings of self-authenticity drive the effect of luxury customization on subjective well-being. Extending the results of Study 1, Study 2 further demonstrates that the experience of luxury customization influences actual well-being behavior. Notably, this effect is unique to luxury brands and does not occur for non-luxury brands (an ancillary study). Important implications for the theory and practice of luxury branding and consumer well-being are discussed.
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Research on the meaningfulness of work has increased in recent years, yet there is a limited body of qualitative studies on the topic. This article analyzes how the four basic psychological needs, namely autonomy, competence, relatedness, and beneficence, are articulated as sources of meaningful work by blue-collar workers. The research data consist of responses (N = 679) to one open-ended question in a survey and semi-structured interviews (N = 29) with blue-collar workers from property services and the manufacturing industry in Finland. The data were analyzed by theory-driven content analysis. The main findings are: first, autonomy, competence, relatedness, and beneficence appear as sources of meaningfulness in blue-collar work. Second, blue-collar workers see their work as autonomous and requiring diverse competences. Relatedness in blue-collar work entails having good relations with co-workers and striving to maintain those relationships. Beneficence is multilevel: helping clients, co-workers, organization and even the whole society through work. Organizations should develop organizational practices that may enhance the meaningfulness of work, such as opportunities to use and develop occupational skills. This article participates in the discussion about how satisfying these four basic psychological needs can be a source of meaningful work and offers a sociological-contextual perspective on the discussion about meaningfulness of work.
Purpose Robots have a history of replacing human labor in undesirable, dirty, dull and dangerous tasks. With robots now emerging in academic and human-centered work, this paper aims to investigate psychological implications of robotizing desirable and socially rewarding work. Design/methodology/approach Testing the holistic stress model, this study examines educational professionals’ stress responses as mediators between robotization expectations and future optimism in life. The study uses survey data on 2,434 education professionals. Findings Respondents entertaining robotization expectations perceived their work to be less meaningful and reported more burnout symptoms than those with no robotization expectations. Future optimism about life was not affected by robotization expectations alone, but meaninglessness and burnout symptoms mediated the relation between expectations of robotization and future optimism. Practical implications Robotization may be viewed as challenging the meaningfulness of educational work by compromising ethical values and interaction. To prevent excess stress among personnel, robotization should be planned together with employees in co-operation negotiations. This implicates the need for co-designing technological changes in organizations especially in the cases of social use of robots. Originality/value Work’s meaningfulness in robotization is a novel research topic and a step toward socially sustainable robotization.
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Spirituality at work is increasingly accepted and encouraged. The limit that companies set is often that of religion. The employee who invests personally in his work and the company's activity can bring his spirituality to work unless it is religious. How can we explain these phenomena? What meaning can we give them? What are the stakes for employees, companies and performance? This article aims to provide answers to these questions based on a review of the literature on spirituality and religion at work. In particular, it proposes a definition of the central concepts (religion, religiosity) and an analysis of the respective ways in which they allow us to problematize the issue of diversity. For this purpose, two forms of diversity (intrinsic and extrinsic) are differentiated.
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Being in the moment can either heighten self-awareness through observation and interpretation or result in temporary loss of self through experiences of flow. Patients who can flexibly shift between these self-perspectives benefit the most from treatment. When patients risk breaking away from their fixed patterns, they experience a greater sense of aliveness and engagement. Patients who focus too much on the past or too little on the present have problems being centered. Case studies and Antonioni's film Blowup (1966) illustrate how our lives take on renewed meaning through sustaining a present focus.
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Spirituality is often explained in the nursing literature as the patient's quest to find meaning in life and in their experiences. This is most often described in an unlimited and unconditional way defined by whatever interpretations the person places upon it. This opens it to a variety of understandings, some of which may be negative and unhelpful in terms of what we usually consider to be spiritual well being. This discussion paper attempts to look beyond the generality of this idea to examine whether our concept of having meaning, if used in terms of spirituality, should be conditional on meanings which are actually to do with the depth of our being and not meanings which only give pleasure and satisfaction. The paper attempts to do this in two ways. First it explores the beliefs of Victor Frankl to ask the question whether having meaning alone is sufficient to provide spiritual comfort or whether the content of the particular beliefs associated with meaning, may matter. Frankl is often used as a source for the idea of spirituality being to do with meaning and in this paper Frankl's thought is explored in detail to see his own underlying beliefs which helped in his life experiences. Secondly, an understanding of 'meaning' as being conditioned by something "ultimate" described by Paul Tillich is explored. This would give nursing a more structured and purposeful approach to using the term 'meaning' in relation to spiritual care and in addition it would open up a way forward in terms of researching which particular meanings might be most helpful in illness and adversity.
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Tolstoy’s Iván Ilých lies near death, regretting a terrible life but unaware of what he could have done differently while alive. Although motivated to work for all the wrong reasons–money, self-esteem, social acceptance, and escape from home–by all formal accounts he has been a highly responsible professional. This analysis of a work about work illustrates the relationship between meaningful work, professional responsibility, and meaningful life.
Carlone: 2008, ‹Security, dignity, caring relationships and meaningful work
  • D F Ayers
  • C Miller
  • Dyce