Unleash the Meaningfulness of Work
In a field study that involved over 700 participants, four University of Dallas researchers
tested a comprehensive model that helps us understand what drives engagement in organizations.
What the Research Shows
Meaningfulness Is the Key Driver of Engagement
- Employees experience a sense of meaningfulness when they perceive the work as purposeful,
with an impact that goes beyond organizational boundaries.
Antecedents to Meaningfulness at Work
- Transformational leadership behaviors create meaningfulness.
- Enriched jobs lead to meaningfulness in work.
- An integrated faith brings meaning to work.
Organizational Practices Impact Engagement
- The full cycle of recruiting, hiring, developing, evaluating and letting individuals
go impacts engagement.
- Clarifying performance expectations through goal-setting and providing regular expectation-based
feedback has a positive impact on engagement.
The Role of Leadership
- Transformational leadership behaviors help foster an individual’s perception of meaningfulness,
which in turn impacts engagement.
Why Research Matters
Only 30 percent of the workforce is engaged in their work. Engaged employees tend
to be more productive and creative, learn more and report higher levels of satisfaction
with their jobs and less intention to leave. Employee engagement has a positive impact
on organizations’ financial performance, and understanding the drivers of engagement
can help organizations be better equipped to understand and address employees’ needs
so that they can thrive in their work environment.
About the Researchers
J. Lee Whittington, Ph.D, is a professor of management at UD. He is the author of Biblical Perspectives
on Leadership and Organizations and co-author of Leading the Sustainable Organization.
Simone Meskelis, DBA, is an adjunct professor at UD and co-authored a chapter in Faith and Work:
Christian Perspectives, Research and Insights into the Movement.
Enoch Asare, DBA, CPA, CGMA, is an assistant professor of accounting at Texas A&M University,
Texarkana. His research has been published in books, book chapters and conference
Sri Beldona, Ph.D., is a professor of management at UD. His research papers have appeared in
several international journals, and he is also a regular participant in numerous international