Economics at your fingertips  

The Experience of Untapped Potential: Towards a Subjective Temporal Understanding of Work Meaningfulness

Giverny De Boeck, Nicky Dries and Hans Tierens

Journal of Management Studies, 2019, vol. 56, issue 3, 529-557

Abstract: In this paper, we propose that untapped potential acts as a subjective temporal meaning‐making mechanism. Using a two‐wave survey design, we examine the relationship between job characteristics, untapped potential, and work meaningfulness in a heterogeneous sample of 542 employees. We found that employees’ perceived amount of untapped potential mediates the effects of skill variety, autonomy, and job feedback on work meaningfulness. This mediated relationship was moderated by the valence employees attributed to their untapped potential. Moreover, decreases in the perceived amount of untapped potential over time were related to increases in perceived work meaningfulness. Our research shows that work that allows employees to move beyond the here‐and‐now by providing opportunities to realize future work selves is experienced as particularly meaningful. We conclude that, if we wish to understand what makes work meaningful for employees in the present, we need to know how it aligns with their self‐perceptions in the future.

Date: 2019
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.blackwell ... s.asp?ref=00022-2380

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Management Studies is currently edited by Timothy Clark, Steven W. Floyd and Mike Wright

More articles in Journal of Management Studies from Wiley Blackwell
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().

Page updated 2019-04-09
Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:56:y:2019:i:3:p:529-557