Original Research

Meaningful work, work engagement and organisational commitment

Madelyn Geldenhuys, Karolina Łaba, Cornelia M. Venter
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 40, No 1 | a1098 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v40i1.1098 | © 2014 Madelyn Geldenhuys, Karolina Łaba, Cornelia M. Venter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 February 2013 | Published: 18 March 2014

About the author(s)

Madelyn Geldenhuys, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Karolina Łaba, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Cornelia M. Venter, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Meaningful work can yield benefits for organisations and lead to positive work outcomes such as satisfied, engaged and committed employees, individual and organisational fulfilment, productivity, retention and loyalty.

Research purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate the relationships amongst psychological meaningfulness, work engagement and organisational commitment and to test for a possible mediation effect of work engagement on the relationship between psychological meaningfulness and organisational commitment.

Motivation for the study: Managers have to rethink ways of improving productivity and performance at work, due to the diverse, and in some instances escalating, needs of employees (e.g. financial support) to uphold their interest in and enjoyment of working.

Research approach, design and method: A quantitative approach was employed to gather the data for the study, utilising a cross-sectional survey design. The sample (n = 415) consisted of working employees from various companies and positions in Gauteng, South Africa.

Main findings: The results confirmed a positive relationship between psychological meaningfulness, work engagement and organisational commitment. Further, psychological meaningfulness predicts work engagement, whilst psychological meaningfulness and work engagement predict organisational commitment.

Practical/managerial implications: Employers identifying their employees commitment patterns and mapping out strategies for enhancing those that are relevant to organisational goals will yield positive work outcomes (e.g. employees who are creative, seek growth or challenges for themselves).

Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to the literature through highlighting the impact that meaningful work has on sustaining employee commitment to the organisation.


Keywords

Flow; Meaningful work; Meaning of work; Meaning in work

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