Why meaningful work is influenced by motivational and social work characteristics
The academic literature stated that work design in terms of work characteristics do influence employees’ experience of meaningful work positively, but it is still unclear in the academic literature as to why this is. This study aims to gain a richer and better understanding of why the different motivational and social work characteristics influence employees’ experience of meaningful work. The following research question has been developed to achieve the aim of this study: ‘Why do the motivational and social work characteristics influence employees’ experience of meaningful work?’. Using a pattern matching strategy, two predicted patterns are developed, derived from self-determination theory and identity theory, and are matched with an observed pattern, derived from the analysis of this study’s data, as to test whether the two predicted patterns could explain why the work characteristics positively influence employees’ experience of meaningful work. It has been found that only the predicted pattern of role identity theory (one path of identity theory) did seem to be able to match the observed pattern. Role identity theory seems therefore to be the most suitable lens to explain why the work characteristics influence employees’ experience of meaningful work. More research is needed to support the findings and to develop theory further.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen