Meaning at work: Dimensions, implications, and recommendations

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At its heart, the leadership literature suggests that alongside influencing individuals toward organizational objectives, one of the fundamental role of leaders involves creating meaning at work for organizational members. Similarly, the job design literature prescribes steps organizations can take to enhance individuals' perceptions of meaning at work. With more individuals pursuing meaning at work, more organizations have begun to recognize the importance of fostering work that can be personally significant and meaningful to organizations members. While a number of studies have focused on the sources of meaning at work and the subsequent outcomes of fostering meaning at work, few studies have investigated the implications of the absence or the drive to find meaning at work. In the current chapter, we provide an overview of the meaning at work literature and shed light on the implications of the three dimensions of meaning at work, that is, the presence, absence and quest for meaning at work. These implications are arguably critical to understand how organization members view, perceive and interpret their work and themselves. We conclude with recommendations on how not only organizations and leaders, but also individuals themselves can enhance the meaning at work.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Fulfillment, Wellness, and Personal Growth at Work
EditorsJ. F. Marques
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783031354946
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023. All rights reserved.

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