Describing work as meaningful: Towards a conceptual clarification
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Individuals spend much of their time engaged in work, so the need to find and experience meaning in work is of great significance. 'Meaning in work' generally refers to the amount of significance employees perceive in their work. Providing employees with meaning in their work has inspired numerous researchers to study the role of personal meaningful work and its related outcomes. Despite this high level of interest, the theoretical views and methodological approaches used to explore this concept still require refinement and development. Without a comprehensive review of these views and approaches, the concept of meaningful work will remain an ill-defined notion. This study aims to address this gap with a review of the theoretical and empirical research on meaningful work. It examines the underlying features that constitute the meaningful work concept and offers guidance for future research by presenting the current state of knowledge about meaningful work. The paper includes a discussion on the concepts of 'meaning' and 'work', and its importance and the sources for conceptual confusion, and a synthesis of the common features that form the idea of meaningful work.