Meaningful work for a meaningful life? Work alienation and its effects in the work and the family context
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Abstract: This paper examines the impact of work alienation on work-related outcomes (organizational commitment and work effort), and its impact outside work (work-family enrichment). Hypotheses are formulated based on two research streams: sociology of work and organization in relation to work alienation and work-family literature in relation to enrichment. Two dimensions of work alienation are considered: powerlessness and meaninglessness. Both literature streams expect a negative impact of work alienation on employee outcomes. Hypotheses are tested on survey data collected among a national sample of midwives in the Netherlands (respondents: 790, response rate 61%). Findings indicate that work alienation does not only have an impact on work related outcomes but also influences the degree of work-to-family enrichment. In particular work meaninglessness is relevant for both work outcomes and family life. This underscores the importance of lowering the degree of work alienation, which has effects inside and outside the work context.
- work alienation
- work effort