- 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
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.
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.
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