- Copyright Page
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Contributors
- Introduction and Overview
- The Moral Conditions of Work
- Dignity and Meaningful Work
- Meaningful Work and Freedom: Self-realization, Autonomy, and Non-domination in Work
- Work, Meaning, and Virtue
- Work and the Meaning of Being
- To Have Lived Well: Well-being and Meaningful Work
- Do We Have to Do Meaningful Work?
- Identity and Meaningful/Meaningless Work
- Self-transcendence and Meaningful Work
- “Belonging” and its Relationship to the Experience of Meaningful Work
- Exploring work Orientations and Cultural Accounts of Work: Toward a Research Agenda for Examining the Role of Culture in Meaningful Work
- Meaning in Life and in Work
- Meanings and Dirty Work: A Study of Refuse Collectors and Street Cleaners
- Finding Meaning in the Work of Caring
- Exploring Meaningful Work in the Third Sector
- Does My Engagement Matter?: Exploring the Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Meaningful Work in Theory and Practice
- Work Through a Gender Lens: More Work and More Sources of Meaningfulness
- Leadership and Meaningful Work
- Fostering the Human Spirit: A Positive Ethical Framework for Experiencing Meaningfulness at Work
- Direct Participation and Meaningful Work: The Implications of Task Discretion and Organizational Participation
- Accounting for Meaningful Work
- Meaningful Work and Family: How does the Pursuit of Meaningful Work Impact one’s Family?
- Does Corporate Social Responsibility Enhance Meaningful Work?: A Multi-perspective Theoretical Framework
- Cultural, National,and Individual Diversity and their Relationship to the Experience of Meaningful Work
- Bringing Political Economy Back In: A Comparative Institutionalist Perspective on Meaningful Work
- The Meaningful City: Toward a Theory of Public Meaningfulness, City Institutions, and Civic Work
Abstract and Keywords
Work has powerful potential to enrich our lives by providing them with meaning. The idea of meaning in life (MIL) is crucial to almost every measure of human well-being or flourishing, yet there is much less consensus over the idea of meaningful work (MW). Although the two ideas are often used interchangeably, this chapter reviews different conceptualizations of these ideas to see how they are related and takes a “theoretical turn” to consider some shared themes and character strengths, such as “significance,” “coherence,” “transcendence,” “purpose,” and “empathy.” Based on these themes, it proposes two workplace models intended to make it easier for workers to find meaningful pathways in work, and for leaders to create the conditions for the meaningful organization. When these two models work together they can operate to produce social as well as economic value, and personalize work even when faced with dehumanizing effects of robotics.
Michael F. Steger, PhD, is Professor of Psychology, and the Founding Director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose at Colorado State University. He conducts research and provides keynotes, lectures, workshops, and consulting around the world on the topics of meaning and purpose, leadership, psychological strengths, meaningful work, and creating a happy workplace.
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