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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Self-transcendence is a concept often evoked in different approaches to meaningful work, but which lacks clarity. This chapter considers how the subjective experience of meaningful work, centering on significance and purpose, gives rise to the idea of meaningfulness as the realization of human potential, by connecting the inner and the outer life along spiritual and social dimensions. It points to a conceptualization of self-transcendence that places greater emphasis on the intersubjective nature of meaningfulness. This raises questions such as: if meaningfulness is self-transcendent, where and how is meaning created? If transcendence denotes “beyondness” of the here and now, what does this mean in terms of the nature of work tasks and roles? If self-transcendence is an ineffable, transitory state, what might this mean for research into meaningful work? A shift in the emphasis of future research is necessary if we are to understand the self-transcendent nature of experienced meaningfulness.

Keywords: self-transcendence, spirituality, alienation, significant work, beyondness, callings, intersubjectivity

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