Introduction and overview

Ruth Yeoman, Catherine Bailey, Adrian Madden, Marc Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


With organizations under pressure from new business models, technological change, and globalization, the prospects for meaningful work appear uncertain. Despite this, scholarly and practitioner interest in meaningful work continues to grow. This handbook examines the conceptualization, practices, and effects of meaningful work by reflecting diverse perspectives on meaningful work from philosophy, political theory, psychology, sociology, and organization studies. In philosophy, moral considerations related to meaningful work range across human flourishing, autonomy, dignity, alienation, freedom, and organizational ethics. Meanwhile, empirical studies are expanding beyond a positive psychology focus on the individual experience, to ethnographic and constructivist approaches which attend to organizational and institutional factors. Furthermore, scholars are now considering multilevel features such as leadership, voluntary work, families, and corporate social responsibility, as well as political economy and large-scale entities such as cities, national cultures, and broader meaning-systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Meaningful Work
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780198788232
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2019.


  • Meaningful work
  • Moral philosophy
  • Organizational ethics
  • Political theory
  • Positive psychology

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