Does meaning-making help during organizational change? Development and validation of a new scale

M (Machteld) van den Heuvel, E (Eva) Demerouti, BHJ Schreurs, Arnold Bakker, WB Schaufeli

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70 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose ¿ The purpose of this paper is first, to test the validity of a new scale measuring the construct of meaning-making, defined as the ability to integrate challenging or ambiguous situations into a framework of personal meaning using conscious, value-based reflection. Second, to explore whether meaning-making is distinct from other personal resources (self-efficacy, optimism, mastery, meaning in life), and coping (positive reinterpretation, acceptance). Third, to explore whether meaning-making facilitates work engagement, willingness to change, and performance during organizational change. Design/methodology/approach ¿ Cross-sectional survey-data were collected from 238 employees in a variety of both public and private organizations. Findings ¿ Confirmatory factor analyses showed that meaning-making can be distinguished from other personal resources, coping and meaning in life. Regression analyses showed that meaning-making is positively related to in-role performance and willingness to change, but not to work engagement, thereby partly supporting the hypotheses. Originality/value ¿ The paper focuses on meaning-making that has not yet been studied empirically in organizational change settings. It shows that the new construct of psychological meaning-making is related to valuable employee outcomes including in-role performance and willingness to change. Meaning-making explains variance over and above other personal resources such as self-efficacy, optimism, mastery, coping and meaning in life.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)508-533
Number of pages26
JournalCareer Development International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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