Work Meaning in Self and World Perspective: A New Outlook on the WAMI Scale

Authors

  • Malwina Puchalska-Kamińska
  • Agnieszka Czerw
  • Marta Roczniewska

Abstract

Recent research demonstrates that finding the meaning of work (MW) is a growing need among employees. It thus seems vital to examine the predictors and outcomes of meaningful work with the aim of identifying practical implications for employees and organizations in this area. However, there are several different concepts of MW and only a handful of published measures. Using the framework of the big two we proposed and developed a two-dimensional model of MW: agentic work meaning (the self-perspective) and communal work meaning (the world perspective). The aim of our research was to adapt the Work and Meaning Inventory (WAMI; Steger, Dik, & Duffy, 2012) into Polish and to verify the hypothesis of a two-dimensional model of MW, which is a new perspective on this scale. The three studies conducted amongst employees in Poland (N = 403) supported our ideas. First, confirmatory factor analysis provided support for the two-dimensional model of MW in WAMI-PL, i.e., meaning in the self and in world perspectives. In line with previous studies on MW, these two factors correlated positively with meaning in life, work well-being (work engagement, organizational commitment) and positive work behaviors (in-role and extra-role behaviors, job crafting). Moreover, we demonstrated a relationship between MW and the eudemonic indicators of well-being in the workplace, such as fit and personal development, positive relationships at work, and contribution to the organization. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of this research.