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date: 08 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

We review the literature on work as meaning and propose a theoretical model of factors that support engagement in meaningful work. We argue that meaningful work arises when people have a clear sense of self, an accurate understanding of the nature and expectations of their work environment, and understand how to transact with their organizations to accomplish their work objectives. We argue that this comprehension of the self in work provides the foundation for people to develop a sense of purpose and mission about their work that both motivates their engagement and performance and helps them transcend their own immediate interests to achieve concern for their contributions to their organization and the greater good. We describe potential and documented benefits of meaningful work to individuals and organizations and provide some suggestions for practical applications and future research.

Keywords: meaningful work, calling, work purpose, mission, leadership

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