For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Direct Participation and Meaningful Work: The Implications of Task Discretion and Organizational Participation"

by Gallie, Duncan (2019)


In this chapter, two aspects of the meaningful work context are considered: task discretion and organizational participation. It argues that these provide opportunities for values associated with meaningful work to be realized at both an intrinsic and instrumental level. Drawing on both theoretical arguments and empirical evidence, the chapter explores the extent to which meaningful work values are realized in both domains. Two types of direct participation are found to be complementary: task discretion is particularly important for increasing the scope for informal learning, while organizational participation is a stronger lever for securing higher levels of training provision. The chapter presents substantial evidence that participation in decision-making, both at the level of the work task and in wider organizational decisions, is an essential precondition of meaningful work.


Meaningful Work, Ethics, Virtue, Calling, Vocation, Volunteerism, Unpaid Labour, Participatory Management, Civic Engagement


Democracy and Work, Meaningful Work, Cooperation

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