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Examining the Role of Dignity in the Experience of Meaningfulness: a Process-Relational View on Meaningful Work

Tuure Haarjärvi () and Sari Laari-Salmela
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Tuure Haarjärvi: University of Oulu
Sari Laari-Salmela: University of Oulu

Humanistic Management Journal, 2022, vol. 7, issue 3, No 3, 417-440

Abstract: Abstract The objective of the present study is to examine the ethical grounding and process-relational nature of meaningful work through the relationship of dignity and meaningfulness. Adopting a practice lens, we show how a shift from methodological individualism to a process-relational worldview allows meaningful work to be understood through organizational activities rather than individual characteristics. Building on practice-based theorization, we present a process-relational model of meaningful work that 1) examines meaningfulness as a flow of experience in the stream of work activity events; 2) highlights how experiencing meaningfulness is embedded in social practices, distinguishing it as a social phenomenon that is defined by this embeddedness; 3) delineates situationality, historicity, and contextuality of meaningfulness; and 4) shows how meaningful work is grounded in the prioritization of dignity in the logic of practice. Accordingly, our model enables a more holistic understanding of how dignity functions as the ethical basis for the experience of meaningfulness in the context of work and organization.

Keywords: Meaningful work; Dignity; Process; Relationality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s41463-022-00133-5

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