Out of the letters of the PERMA acronym that comprises the essential building blocks of Positive Psychology, for the last years, I´ve been first and foremost intruiged by the letter M for meaning. Getting to (and helping others to get to) a deeper understanding of the nature and mechanics of meaningful work has been one of the cornerstones of my endeavors in Positive Psychology – and also the backbone of my own research.
Here are those ten research articles that have helped me the most while trying to wrap my head around meaningful work:
- Bailey, C., & Madden, A. (2016). What makes work meaningful-or meaningless? MIT Sloan Management Review, 57(4), 53-61.
- Bailey, C., Madden, A., Alfes, K., Shantz, A., & Soane, E. (2017). The mismanaged soul: Existential labor and the erosion of meaningful work. Human Resource Management Review, 27(3), 416-430.
- Lips-Wiersma, M., & Wright, S. (2012). Measuring the meaning of meaningful work: Development and validation of the comprehensive meaningful work scale (CMWS). Group & Organization Management, 37(5), 655-685.
Lips-Wiersma, M., Wright, S., & Dik, B. (2016). Meaningful work: differences among blue-, pink-, and white-collar occupations. Career Development International, 21(5), 534-551.
- Martela, F., & Steger, M. F. (2016). The three meanings of meaning in life: Distinguishing coherence, purpose, and significance. Journal of Positive Psychology, 11(5), 531-545.
- Rosso, B. D., Dekas, K. H., & Wrzesniewski, A. (2010). On the meaning of work: A theoretical integration and review. Research in Organizational Behavior, 30, 91-127.
- Schnell, T., Höge, T., & Pollet, E. (2013). Predicting meaning in work: Theory, data, implications. Journal of Positive Psychology, 8(6), 543-554.
- Steger, M. F. (2017). Creating meaning and purpose at work. In L. G. Oades, M. F. Steger, A. Delle Fave, & J. Passmore (Eds.), Wiley Blackwell handbook of the psychology of positivity and strengths-based approaches at work (pp. 60–81). Hoboken: Wiley.
- Steger, M. F., & Dik, B. J. (2009). If one is looking for meaning in life, does it help to find meaning in work? Applied Psychology: Health and Well‐Being, 1(3), 303-320.
- Steger, M. F., Dik, B. J., & Duffy, R. D. (2012). Measuring meaningful work: The work and meaning inventory (WAMI). Journal of Career Assessment, 20(3), 322-337.