Towards an existential approach to the meaning of work

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dc.contributor.advisor Mills, Albert J., 1945-
dc.creator MacMillan, Scott 2010-11-19T17:42:23Z 2010-11-19T17:42:23Z 2009 2009
dc.description v, 234 leaves ; 29 cm. en_CA
dc.description Includes abstract and appendix
dc.description.abstract This thesis explores the meaning of work and its effect on the individual through an 'existential' lens using the 'job-career-calling model' as heuristic. A qualitative study was conducted consisting of in-depth interviews with fourteen professionals, 40-60 years of age, who had made a major change in their line of work. The interviews consisted of a variety of questions designed to elicit feelings about the importance of work using the job-career-calling model and to explore work in relation to their overall experience of life. The interviews were then analyzed using an existential framework (choice, bad faith, authenticity, contingency, death) which was developed from a broad-based review of the literature. The overall results showed that models such as the job-career-calling model are limited as they fail to take into account the existential self and promote a discourse of work as meaning. The results revealed that there are many interrelated factors that affect how the individual views and chooses work, and in order to understand the meaning placed on work, these factors must be taken into account. The central conclusion is that we cannot understand work separate from the existential self; that work must be viewed in terms of its relationship to the formation of the individual self, and not as a separate 'sphere' of life. A preliminary conception of an existential approach to the meaning of work is then outlined. The thesis concludes with theoretical and practical implications, limitations of the research and a future research agenda. en_CA
dc.description.provenance Submitted by Erica Penton ( on 2010-11-19T17:42:23Z No. of bitstreams: 0 en
dc.description.provenance Made available in DSpace on 2010-11-19T17:42:23Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 0 Previous issue date: 2009-08-10 en
dc.language.iso en en_CA
dc.publisher Halifax, N.S. : Saint Mary's University en_CA
dc.subject.lcc HF5548.8.M33 2009
dc.subject.lcsh Work -- Psychological aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Psychology, Industrial
dc.subject.lcsh Existential psychology
dc.title Towards an existential approach to the meaning of work en_CA
dc.type Text en_CA Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (Management) Doctoral Management Saint Mary's University (Halifax, N.S.)
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