Despite many efforts and organizational investments, results in terms of workers’ engagement are still poor and questions regarding its antecedents continue to attract researchers’ attention. Leveraging the literature on engagement and the recent research development on meaningfulness, our study aims to investigate the role of the perceived social impact of work as a source of meaningfulness, which may enhance workers’ engagement. This project is based on a survey of 484 workers of 24 Italian social enterprises, a privileged research context in which social mission and market sustainability are joined together. Our results, developed through a multiple regression analysis, provide empirical support for the mediated positive effects of social meaningfulness of work on job satisfaction and individual performance through job engagement. They corroborate the fruitful possibility of combining apparent dichotomies, such as work and life domains, social and economic dimensions, individual and organization perspectives. They also demonstrate the appropriateness of the role of social issues as relevant sources of work meaningfulness for diverse kinds of workers. The empirical evidence contributes to a better understanding of the role of social significance in work relationships with relevant theoretical and managerial implications both for social enterprise domain and for for-profit organizations."
- job engagement
- work meaningfulness