Meaningful Work and Family: How does the Pursuit of Meaningful Work Impact One's Family

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Experiencing one’s work as meaningful is often assumed to benefit the individual, yet some scholars suggest that meaningful work can also be a very challenging experience, requiring individual sacrifice. These sacrifices may be borne by the family of the individual. The chapter reviews and integrates research on meaningful work, calling, and work–family interplay to better understand how the pursuit of meaningful work impacts one’s family. In so doing, it challenges overly positive perspectives on the outcomes of meaningful work, while revealing the scarcity of empirical research on the topic. To stimulate future research, person-related conditions are discussed, such as family role salience and identification, and harmonious passion and obsessive passion, in facilitating positive versus negative spillover between the work and family domain. The chapter concludes with a discussion of organization-related conditions shaping how meaningful work influences one’s family.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Meaningful Work
EditorsRuth Yeoman, Catherine Bailey, Adrian Madden, Marc Thompson
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780191830198, 9780191092374
ISBN (Print)9780198788232
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


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