For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Meaning in Life and in Work"

by Steger, Michael F (2019)


Work has powerful potential to enrich our lives by providing them with meaning. The idea of meaning in life (MIL) is crucial to almost every measure of human well-being or flourishing, yet there is much less consensus over the idea of meaningful work (MW). Although the two ideas are often used interchangeably, this chapter reviews different conceptualizations of these ideas to see how they are related and takes a “theoretical turn” to consider some shared themes and character strengths, such as “significance,” “coherence,” “transcendence,” “purpose,” and “empathy.” Based on these themes, it proposes two workplace models intended to make it easier for workers to find meaningful pathways in work, and for leaders to create the conditions for the meaningful organization. When these two models work together they can operate to produce social as well as economic value, and personalize work even when faced with dehumanizing effects of robotics.


Meaningful Work, Meaning Of Life, Empathy, Robots, Machines, Automation


Meaningful Work

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