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The Motivational Power of Meaningful Work: An Experimental Pilot Study

Case
By: Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was not only to investigate the relationship between meaningful work and motivation but also to develop a badly needed new empirical approach. Workplace spirituality has increased in popularity since the 1980s. Since that time, many claims have been made about its positive benefits. However, there is limited scientific support that workplace spirituality has an impact on variables important to organizations, such as productivity and job satisfaction. Furthermore, none of the prior research studies in the field has been able to demonstrate causality—that workplace spirituality directly leads to beneficial effects. This study took a unique quantitative and experimental approach to address this research gap. A multivariate analysis of covariance technique was used to analyze the data. The results supported the conclusion that within the limited boundaries of the study’s experimental setting, meaningful work was linked to significantly increase productivity and job satisfaction. Perhaps more importantly, the study demonstrates it is possible to manipulate the meaning attached to tasks in such a way that causality could be established, opening several new research paths.

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