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The Pursuit of Meaningfulness of Work: The Interaction between Prosocial Motivation, Task Significance, and Perceived External Prestige
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experienced meaningfulness of work, perceived external prestige, prosocial motivation, task significance
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本篇研究提出人們所感受的工作的意義是受自我、工作、與環境三者互動的影響而改變。 人們一進入一機構工作時，可能有想造福別人的動機，但隨著工作年資增加，感受到的工作的意義可能被增強或減弱。 其它來自工作本身或工作環境的因素可能造成該變動。 針對此現象，此提出的架構呈現親社會動機 (prosocial motivation)、任務重要性 (task significance)、與企業聲望 (perceived external prestige)三者互動對個人知覺工作意義度 (experienced meaningfulness of work) 的影響。 本研究透過問卷調查於高科技產業員工以及警方人士來檢驗提出的架構。 結果驗證，當人們有親社會動機時，也會有較高知覺工作意義度。 即使人們有親社會動機，企業聲望仍會影響知覺工作意義度。 而任務重要性對於知覺工作意義度的影響強烈大於人們既有的親社會動機。 研究結果顯示任何層面的因素都會對工作意義度共同造成影響，且動機與工作意義度的關聯是互動的。
This paper introduces a dynamic model to illustrate how the self, the work, and the environment interactively influence the experience of work meaningfulness during the employment period. While individuals might enter an organization with intent to improve or protect others’ well-being, their perceived degree of work meaningfulness might be strengthened or weakened within jobs. Other factors from their work and the environment could come into play. Specifically, the proposed model presents how the interplay between prosocial motivation, perceived task significance, and perceived external prestige of an organization affect the experienced meaningfulness of work jointly. This paper tests the model by surveying employees from the high-tech sector and the police sector using the questionnaire method. The results show that individuals who have prosocial motivation indeed experience a sense of work meaningfulness initially. Even when individuals are prosocially motivated, the perceived external prestige of their organizations positively affects their experience in meaningfulness of work. Furthermore, the perceived level of task significance of one’s work overpowers the existing prosocial motivation when it comes to altering the perception of work meaningfulness. The findings indicate that factors from different dimensions could alter the experienced meaningfulness of work together, and the relation between prosocial motivation and work meaningfulness is dynamic.
目次 Table of Contents
Chinese Abstract i
English Abstract ii
Table of Contents iii
List of Tables v
List of Figures vi
Chapter 1: Introduction 1
1.1 Background 1
1.2 Research motive and objective 1
1.3 Scope 3
Chapter 2: Literature Review 5
2.1 Meaningfulness of Work 5
2.1.1. Meaning seeking in life and work 5
2.1.2. Definitions: Meaning and meaningfulness of work 5
2.1.3. Importance of meaningful work 6
2.1.4. Construction of meaning at work 7
2.1.5. Sources of the meaning of work 9
2.1.6. An interactive model for meaningfulness of work 17
2.2. Prosocial Motivation 18
2.2.1. Prosocial motivation at work 18
2.2.2. Definition: Prosocial motivation 19
2.2.3. Significance of prosocial motivation 20
2.2.4. Importance of prosocial motivation to individuals 21
2.2.5. Importance of prosocial motivation to organizations 23
2.2.6. Prosocial motivation in the present model 24
2.3. Perceived External Prestige 24
2.3.1. External prestige of an organization in a work environment 24
2.3.2. Definition: Perceived external prestige 25
2.3.3. Significance of perceived external prestige 26
2.3.4. Perceived external prestige and experienced meaningfulness of work 28
2.3.5. Perceived external prestige and prosocial motivation 29
2.3.6. Perceived external prestige in the present model 30
2.4. Perceived Task Significance 31
2.4.1. The concept of task significance in job design 31
2.4.2. Definition: Task significance 31
2.4.3. Significance of task significance 32
2.4.4. Task significance and meaningfulness of work 33
2.4.5. Task significance and prosocial motivation 34
2.4.6. Task significance in the present model 36
Chapter 3: Research Method 37
3.1. Research structure 37
3.2. Measures 38
3.2.1. Dependent variable: Experienced meaningfulness of work 39
3.2.2. Independent variable: Prosocial motivation 39
3.2.3. Mediator: Perceived external prestige 40
3.2.4. Mediator: Perceived task significance 41
3.2.5. Demographic information 42
3.2.6. Questionnaire translation and pretesting 42
3.3. Samples 43
3.4. Procedures 44
3.5. Analysis method 45
Chapter 4: Results 46
4.1. Demographic characteristics 46
4.2. Validity and reliability 48
4.3. Correlation results 51
4.3.1. Experienced meaningfulness of work 52
4.3.2. Prosocial motivation 52
4.3.3. Perceived external prestige 53
4.3.4. Perceived task significance 53
4.3.5. Other demographic variables 54
4.4. Regression analysis 56
4.4.1. Hypothesis 1 56
4.4.2. Hypothesis 2 56
4.4.3. Hypothesis 3 57
4.5. Job sector comparison: Independent samples t test 61
4.6. Job level comparison: Independent samples t test 64
Chapter 5: Discussion 67
5.1. General discussion 67
5.1.1. The dynamic model 67
5.1.2. Differences between sectors 68
5.1.3. Differences between job levels 69
5.2. Theoretical contributions 70
5.2.1. Meaning of work 70
5.2.2. Work design 71
5.2.3. Prosocial motivation 73
5.3. Practical implications 73
5.4. Limitations 76
5.5. Future directions 77
Meaningfulness of work questionnaire 89
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