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of Convergent and Divergent Validity
SiA S B G AFW AME PN PA CBB UWES JS WAMI
Sense of achieving goals (G)
1.00 -0.13 -0.07 0.02
Alienation from work (AFW) 
-0.13 1.00 / / / / / / -0.12
Work securing existence (AME)  -0.09 -0.10 -0.05 -0.07 / 1.00 -0.03 -0.08 -0.02 -0.08 -0.04 /
PANAS: Negative Affect (NA)  0.07 0.08 0.09 0.02 / -0.03 1.00 0.05 -0.05 0.09
PANAS: Positive Affect (PA) 
/ -0.08 0.05 1.00
Commitment (CBB) 
/ -0.02 -0.05
Engagement (UWES) 
/ -0.08 0.09
1.00 0.70 /
Job Satisfaction (JS) 
-0.12 / / / / / / 1.00
Meaning of Work:
A culture-based approach towards
the construction of a German questionnaire
Maximilian Feser, Timo Lorenz, Elisabeth Mainz
Contact: Maximilian Feser
M.Sc. Social- Organisational- and Economicspsychology, Freie Universität Berlin
The significance of Meaning of Work (MOW) has been established for over 30 years  . Various studies have shown its strong connection to most of the important organizational
outcomes  . But as research progresses, examples mount that contrary to original beliefs, MOW does not appear to be culturally independent . Despite this, only few research
exists specifically examining MOW and its mechanisms in Germany .
In this study, a German questionnaire is constructed and validated. Both qualitative interviews conducted by its pre-study  and various theoretical foundations are integrated,
with Rosso et al.’s  MOW mechanisms and the Cognitive-Experiential Self-Theory forming the model´s core components.
1. MOW International Research Team. (1987). The meaning of working. London, UK: Academic Press.
2. Rosso, B. D., Dekas, K. H., & Wrzesniewski, A. (2010). On the meaning of work: A theoretical integration and review. Research in Organizational Behavior, 30, 91-127.
3. Arnoux-Nicolas, C., Sovet, L., Lhotellier, L., & Bernaud, J.-L. (2017). Development and validation of the meaning of work inventory among french workers. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 17(2),
4. Hardering, F., Will-Zocholl, M., & Hofmeister, H. (2015). Sinn der Arbeit und sinnvolle Arbeit: Zur Einführung. Arbeit, 24(1-2), 3-12.
5. Feser, M., Radau, L., & Siegling, M. (2017). Auf der Suche nach dem Sinn: Entwicklung eines deutschsprachigen Fragebogens zur Messung von Sinn in der Arbeit. Unveröffentlichte Arbeit. Freie Universität Berlin.
6. Epstein, S. (1985). The Implications of Cognitive-Experiential Self-Theory for Research in Social Psychology and Personality. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. 15(3). 283-310.
7. Hu, L. t., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 6(1), 1-55.
8. Fischer, A., & Kohr, H. (2014a). Entfremdung von der Arbeit. Zusammenstellung soziwalwissenschaftlicher Items und Skalen. Retrieved from: http://zis.gesis.org/skala/Fischer-Kohr-Entfremdung-von-der-Arbeit (24.05.2019)
9. Fischer, A., & Kohr, H. (2014b). Arbeit als Mittel der Existenzsicherung. Zusammenstellung soziwalwissenschaftlicher Items und Skalen. Retrieved from: http://zis.gesis.org/skala/Fischer-Kohr-Arbeit-als-Mittel-
10. Janke, S. & Glöckner-Rist, A. (2014). Deutsche Version der Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Zusammenstellung sozialwissenschaftlicher Items und Skalen. Retrieved from: https://zis.gesis.org/skala/Janke-
11. Felfe, J., Six, B., Schmook, R., & Knorz, C. (2014). Commitment Organisation, Beruf und Beschäftigungsform (COBB). Zusammenstellung sozialwissenschaftlicher Items und Skalen. Retrieved from:
http://zis.gesis.org/ZisApplication/title/Commitment%20Organisation,%20Ber uf%20und%20Beschäftigungsform%20(COBB) (24.05.2019)
12. Sautier, L. P., Scherwath, A., Weis, J., Sarkar, S., Bosbach, M., Schendel, M.,…Mehnert, A. (2015). Erfassung von Arbeitsengagement bei Patienten mit hämatologischen Malignomen: Die psychometrischen Eigenschaften der
deutschen Version der Utrecht Work Engagement Scale 9 (UWES-9). Die Rehabilitation, 54(5), 297-303.
13. Judge, T. A., Boudreau, J. W., & Bretz, R. D. (1994). Job and life attitudes of male executives. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 767-782.
14. Steger, M. F., Dik, B. J., & Duffy, R. D. (2012). Measuring meaningful work: The work and meaning inventory (WAMI). Journal of Career Assessment, 20(3), 322-337.
15. Trust in Talent –Warum mitarbeiteroriente Unternehmen erfolgreicher sind. Talent Management Studie 2018. (2018). Retrieved from:
16. Neue Spielregeln im digitalen Zeitalter. Globale Human Capital Trendstudie 2017. (2017). Retrieved from: https://www2.deloitte.com/de/de/pages/humancapital/articles/human-capital-trends-deutschland-2017.html
I can achieve self-actualization at work.
My work complies with my beliefs.
I experience success at work.
I completely merge into my work.
I share my values with the people at work.
I identify with the people at work.
I like to spend time with the people at work.
It is customary that the people at work help each other.
Sense of achieving goals (G)
Iam aware of my works benefits for me personally.
I perceive my work as contributing to society.
My work is highly regarded by society.
My work has a positive impact on others.
Both samples´data fit with the proposed model. Congruent validity is achieved for all surveyed scales. Divergent validity on the other hand can only be observed for one of the constructs (AFW),
even though not for all three factors. This needs to be addressed in further research, but part of this might be due to different definitions of MOW between the scales and this study.
Furthermore, an even distribution of industrial sectors could not be achieved in both samples, with social, educational and administrative personnel forming the majority in both. This might bias
the outcome, as it needs yet to be examined in Germany to what degree a job and its requirements and tasks impact the way in which individuals sense meaning in their work.
What gives work meaning is highly subjective and therefore dependent on an individual´s surrounding culture. At a time when lack of qualified personnel and employee-fluctuation form two of
the most acute challenges for the economy  , MOW represents an efficient way of determining the employee-work-fit. Recruiting and binding those, who experience MOW, will be crucial for
businesses and researchers therefore need to provide a solid and culture-based understanding of the underlying mechanisms.
A total of 521 persons were surveyed. Exclusion of all with <20 weekly hours resulted in the following
Sample one (n= 236): consisted of 135 women and 1 diverse, averaging at 42.11 years of age (SD =
12.71). 79.2% listed as employed, 11.0% as self-employed. At their momentary job, participants have
spent 0 to 40 years (MJob = 8.60 years, SD = 8.83), working on average 39.39 hours a week (SD = 8.51). The
social sector (31.78%) and administrative/ juristic sector (22.45%) make up half of the sample, with the
duration ranging from 0 to 45 years (MSector = 15.98 years, SD = 11.89).
Sample two (n= 259) consisted of 158 women and 1 diverse, averaging at 39.26 years of age (SD = 12.19).
70.66% listed as employed, 23.17% as government officials. At their momentary job, participants have
spent 1 to 46 years (MJob = 10.39 years, SD = 9.94), working on average 40.39 hours a week (SD = 10.75).
52.12% of all people surveyed work in the social sector, with the duration ranging from 0 to 45 years
(MSector = 15.98 years, SD = 11.89).
The first sample aimed at verifying the proposed three-factorial structure by applying a CFA. Model fit was
analysed in accordance with Hu & Bentler .A correlational analysis is conducted to examine the
questionnaires validity based on sample 2 (except AFW and WAMI, which where part of sample 1 to even
the total amount of items per survey).
Results I: Structural Equation Model
0.770.83 0.60 0.82 0.760.82 0.66 0.56 0.620.61 0.50 0.76
Data is based on sample 1. Model fit can be assumed as χ2(53) = 53 is not significant with p = 0.19. Model fit
was replicated with sample 2 and a combined sample. Note: * p ≤ 0.05; ** p≤0.01; *** p ≤0.001.
19th Congress of The European Association for Work & Organizational Psychology
Turin, ITALY, 29th May –1st June 2019
Results II: Correlational Analysis