Antecedents and Multi-level Benefits of Work Meaningfulness Perceptions of Nigerian Managers

  • Constantine Imafidon Tongo Joseph Ayo Babalola university
Keywords: Employees, Organization, Work Meaningfulness, Work Motivation, Society


Work meaningfulness has gained currency in contemporary work motivation literature because it has the capacity to confer certain benefits on employees, organizations and the larger society. Given the beneficial outcomes of work meaningfulness, it becomes expedient to know the extent to which its antecedents relate with these outcomes. Towards exploring this knowledge gap, this article hypothesizes that different antecedents of work meaningfulness (i.e. “need to develop and become self”, “need to serve others”, “need to unite with others” and “need to express full potential”) correspond with its beneficial outcomes at multiple (i.e. individual, organizational and societal) levels of human existence; and that the direct benefits of work meaningfulness are quite pervasive. These hypotheses were tested through a cross sectional study involving the perceptions of two hundred and sixteen Nigerian managers employed by different organizations. Results from structural equation and regression models showed that apart from the inconsequential organizational and societal benefits attributable to the “need to develop and become self”; the other antecedents of work meaningfulness were significantly beneficial at all levels. Although, each antecedent separately had significant impact on work meaningfulness, multiple and hierarchical regression analyses unveiled the intra-psychic tensions between “need to unite with others” and “need to express full potential”; as the positive effect of the former on work meaningfulness was terribly undermined by the latter. Moreover, the direct impact of work meaningfulness on benefits to employees, organizations and society was also significantly positive.  The ethical and future research implications of these findings were discussed. 


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