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               Is Task Significance Associated with
              Perceived Meaning in Work?

    
What is task significance?  Task significance is the
impact of one's work on others.   People may desire to
feel that they are making a significant contribution to
the organization.  Making a significant contribution to
an organization may foster a sense of purpose and
meaning.        Greater perceived meaningfulness of
work has been found to be associated with greater task
significance (e.g., Johns, Xie, & Fang, 1992; Renn &
Vandenberg, 1995). (1)  We cannot make casual
conclusions from the above correlational findings.  
Nonetheless, it may be a good idea if all employees in a
company could be allowed to work on a project for a
few hours a week that would greatly benefit the
organization.  The project could be a training program, a
manual, or a creative project (e.g., such as artwork for
the office).   This may increase a sense of task
significance, purpose, and meaning in one's work.

Notes

1.  Task significance is just one factor in the job
characteristics model that influences the experienced
meaningfulness of work.  See Hackman and Oldman
(1980) for a description of the job characteristics model.

References

Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1980).  Work
  redesign.  Reading,  MA: Addison-Wesley
  Publishing Company.
Renn, R. W., & Vandenberg, R. J. (1995).  The
  Critical Psychological States:  An Underrepresented
  Component in Job Characteristics Model Research.
  
Journal of Management, 21, 279-303.
Johns, G., Xie, J. L., & Fang, Y. (1992).  Mediating
   and moderating effects in job design.  
Journal
   of  Management
, 18, 657-676.