- 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
This chapter articulates the link between employee engagement and meaningful work, acknowledging the complexity of this task against a backdrop of confusion over the precise meaning of engagement, which remains a contested and potentially exploitative construct. The chapter highlights the limitations of the predominant conceptualization of engagement as a positive, active, work-related psychological state, arguing that this encourages a focus on performance-related outcomes at the expense of a deeper understanding of the individual experience, context, and processes of engagement. Reverting to William Kahn’s original theory of personal role engagement as being fostered by the experience of meaningfulness, it is argued that individual engagement is associated with the fluctuating interpretation of whether or not a situation can be construed as meaningful. Thus, engagement and meaningfulness, while not synonymous, are symbiotically linked.
Brad Shuck is Associate Professor and Program Director of the Health Professions Education and Human Resources and Organizational Development programs in the School of Medicine and College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville. His primary areas of research include the application, meaning, and measurement of employee engagement, emerging areas of positive psychology, and leader development. Shuck is a Commonwealth Scholar, a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, and holds faculty affiliate status with the Department of Counseling and Human Development (UofL).
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