Constructing Meaning Despite the Drudgery of Repetitive Work
AbstractThis interview study is a qualitative and explorative in-depth analysis of meaning in work and its relation to other important concepts. Meaning in work is analyzed in the context of repetitive work to examine employees’ efforts to construct meaning despite aversive working conditions. The proposed relations between the concepts are discussed in light of previous studies and the present empirical study, for which 28 workers with repetitive work were interviewed thoroughly and their psychosocial working environment was observed. Eight categories of meaning in work are outlined, showing that 75% of the workers in the study experience meaning in their work. Employees construct meaning in repetitive work even though this type of work causes stress symptoms. Meaning in work is proposed as the function of diminishing stress.