The measurement of meaningfulness

Lisa-Maria Baumgartner, Alexander Kaiser

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingContribution to conference proceedings


Currently, the topic of Spiritual Knowledge is discussed in the literature and approaches to systematize this type of knowledge are presented. It seems unquestionable that an important aspect of spiritual knowledge is in particular the topic of meaningfulness. In order to systematize this aspect of spiritual knowledge, it could be helpful to measure the meaningfulness of activities in general and of work in particular. The aim of this paper is to reveal the fundamental dimensions of meaningful work by comparing selected measurement scales. Selected measurements mainly focusing either on meaningful work or on calling are introduced, namely the Comprehensive Meaningful Work Scale, the Work and Meaning Inventory, the Existential Meaning of Work Inventory, the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire, the Vocation Identity Questionnaire, and the Calling and Vocation Questionnaire. Based on a semantic cluster analysis of their relevant items and an interrater analysis, fundamental dimensions are grasped. Altogether six dimensions are found: balance, belonging, calling, enjoyment/enablement, significance, and work as an end and not as a means. Based on these dimensions, we propose a general approach to measure meaningfulness in the context of spiritual knowledge. Finally, the relevance of spiritual knowledge and its factor of meaningfulness for modern knowledge management in organizations is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 22nd European Conference on Knowledge Management ECKM 2021
Editors Garcia-Perez, A. and Simkin, L.
Place of PublicationCoventry
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Pages36 - 45
ISBN (Print)978-1-914587-06-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 509018 Knowledge management

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