- 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
With organizations under pressure from new business models, technological change, and globalization, the prospects for meaningful work appear uncertain. Despite this, scholarly and practitioner interest in meaningful work continues to grow. This handbook examines the conceptualization, practices, and effects of meaningful work by reflecting diverse perspectives on meaningful work from philosophy, political theory, psychology, sociology, and organization studies. In philosophy, moral considerations related to meaningful work range across human flourishing, autonomy, dignity, alienation, freedom, and organizational ethics. Meanwhile, empirical studies are expanding beyond a positive psychology focus on the individual experience, to ethnographic and constructivist approaches which attend to organizational and institutional factors. Furthermore, scholars are now considering multilevel features such as leadership, voluntary work, families, and corporate social responsibility, as well as political economy and large-scale entities such as cities, national cultures, and broader meaning-systems.
Ruth Yeoman is a Fellow of Kellogg College, University of Oxford. Her current research portfolio includes Ownership, Leadership, and Meaningful Work (British Academy/Leverhulme), Values to Shared Value Creation in Sustainable Supply Chains (John Fell), and the Meaningful City (Hermes Investment Management and the University of Tampere). She writes on the importance of meaningful work and researches the ethics and practice of mutuality in co-owned and conventionally owned enterprises. Her book, Meaningful Work and Workplace Democracy: A Philosophy of Work and a Politics of Meaningfulness (2014), was published by Palgrave. She is a member of the HM Treasury Council of Economic Advisers, an adviser for the Fabian Society’s Changing Work Centre, and a Fellow of the UK’s Big Innovation Centre. She is currently writing a monograph for the Routledge Business Ethics series called Ethical Organizing: Meaningfulness and Mutuality in Organization/System Design, to be published in 2019.
Adrian Madden is an Associate Professor at the University of Greenwich Business School where he is also Director of the Leadership & Organizational Behaviour Research Centre. Adrian’s other research interests include time and temporality in organizations; gender and the informal economy; and workplace mediation. He is a member of the editorial board of Work, Employment & Society.
Marc Thompson is a Senior Fellow in Strategy and Organisation, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and Official Fellow, Green Templeton College, Oxford. He has a DSc from Helsinki University and MSc (Econ.) from the London School of Economics. His research interests include workplace change, high performance work systems, reward systems, the digital transformation of work, meaningful work, and strategic renewal and innovation. He held posts in Sussex University and the LSE before joining Oxford as a Research Fellow. He is Academic Director of the Executive Masters, Consulting and Coaching for Change program at HEC/Oxford.
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