EXPLORING MEANINGFULNES IN WORK: WHY SENSITIVITY MATTERS

Donna Morrow, Sue Conger

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/JPM.2015.018

Abstract


Research purpose: The proposed qualitative research study seeks to answer the research question, “How best to define meaningfulness sensitivity in work?” Job design adaptation, which forms a foundation for finding meaningfulness in work, is a motivator that results in happier and more productive employees. Yet, not all employees find meaningfulness in work.

Originality/value: This research is important and original because, in defining a new construct, companies can help meaningfulness-sensitive staff to design their jobs for maximum satisfaction and productivity while helping less sensitive staff to develop a more personal value in their work. In addition, this proposed research might provide insight into ways to address negative employee outcomes such as cynicism and high attrition. Methodology/approach: Researchers plan to use focus groups and interviews to collect data. Using an approach guided by the principles of grounded theory, data analysis will use several rounds of coding to define and develop the meaningfulness sensitivity construct, hopefully, identifying antecedents and personal characteristics of sensitive people as well.

Implications/limitations: This research seeks to extend positive-management research and meaningfulness in work research to identify those most likely to benefit from these approaches to management and job design. The convenience sample from only white-collar workers and managers, one industry, and one country limits its generalizability.

Further research: Compare and contrast different cultures to determine similarities and differences in individuals’ meaningfulness sensitivity in work. To address study limitations, the research will be transparent enough to support replication across any number of environments and levels of staff. 

Research purpose: The proposed qualitative research study seeks to answer the research question, “How best to define meaningfulness sensitivity in work?” Job design adaptation, which forms a foundation for finding meaningfulness in work, is a motivator that results in happier and more productive employees. Yet, not all employees find meaningfulness in work.

Originality/value: This research is important and original because, in defining a new construct, companies can help meaningfulness-sensitive staff to design their jobs for maximum satisfaction and productivity while helping less sensitive staff to develop a more personal value in their work. In addition, this proposed research might provide insight into ways to address negative employee outcomes such as cynicism and high attrition. Methodology/approach: Researchers plan to use focus groups and interviews to collect data. Using an approach guided by the principles of grounded theory, data analysis will use several rounds of coding to define and develop the meaningfulness sensitivity construct, hopefully, identifying antecedents and personal characteristics of sensitive people as well.

Implications/limitations: This research seeks to extend positive-management research and meaningfulness in work research to identify those most likely to benefit from these approaches to management and job design. The convenience sample from only white-collar workers and managers, one industry, and one country limits its generalizability.

Further research: Compare and contrast different cultures to determine similarities and differences in individuals’ meaningfulness sensitivity in work. To address study limitations, the research will be transparent enough to support replication across any number of environments and levels of staff. 


Keywords


meaningfulness in work; meaningfulness sensitivity in work; positive management; job crafting

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References


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