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A review of the empirical literature on meaningful work: Progress and research agenda

A review of the empirical literature on meaningful work: Progress and research agenda

Bailey, Catherine, Yeoman, Ruth, Madden, Adrian ORCID: 0000-0002-3193-5808, Thompson, Marc and Kerridge, Gary (2018) A review of the empirical literature on meaningful work: Progress and research agenda. Human Resource Development Review, 18 (1). pp. 83-113. ISSN 1534-4843 (Print), 1552-6712 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1534484318804653)

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Abstract

Meaningful work is a topic of importance in core domains of HRD such as employee engagement and understandings of human performance and potentiality. However, there is little consensus over what comprises meaningful work, or concerning the antecedent and outcome factors associated with meaningfulness. Prior theorizing has tended to conflate conceptual and empirical arguments, and hence we lack clear insight into factors related to the experience of meaningfulness. We address this by presenting the results of an analysis of the empirical literature relating to meaningful work. 71 studies met the inclusion criteria. Our aim is to address the question: what is the empirical evidence base concerning meaningful work, and how can this inform theory and practice in HRD? The synthesis reveals dominant trends alongside significant gaps in understanding. We highlight the practical implications of our analysis for the HRD field, and propose avenues for future research on meaningfulness within HRD.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: meaningful work; evidence synthesis; human resource development (HRD)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2019 11:25
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/21329

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