CARD548 Meaningful Work Course Discussions

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CARD548 Meaningful Work Course Discussions
a search for usefulness, for meaning, largely determines a person’s life course, it also influences life in organizations….

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CARD548 Meaningful Work Course Discussions

CARD548 Meaningful Work Course Discussions

Week 5 All Students Posts – 56 Pages 

In the book The New Global Leaders (Jossy-Bass 1999), Manfred F.R. de Vries (with Elizabeth Florent-Treacy) states: “Work in organizations, directed toward achieving shared goals, also answers another human need: it allows us to feel useful. Individuals need to commit themselves to something that is valuable, that has a positive impact. Through usefulness is a highly subjective experience, it is linked to the particular objectives and causes that drive individuals to transcend their customary abilities. Because a search for usefulness–for meaning–largely determines a person’s life course, it also influences life in organizations.

Once again, this poses a challenge for the global leader: how to find a purpose or objective that employees from different cultures see as meaningful, inspiring them to strive in ways that simplistic formulas of return on investment and profit maximization cannot.

Is there some truth to the author’s contention? What is it that we would find meaningful to our life’s purpose in the midst of an organization or work setting?  Do you feel that your job provides usefulness? If so, in what ways?   As a global business leader, how do you ensure that all cultures see their jobs as being useful? How do you ensure that everyone sees that job as being meaningful to them and that they indeed, are useful? Any thoughts?  Do you think that people stay at their jobs longer when they feel useful or longer if the money is great? Which do you think is more important to the employee?

Back when the recession hit, I was let go from my company and had to find a new job.  Unfortunately, after a couple months of looking, all I could get was a minimum wage manufacturing job.  I hated it – no air conditioning in the southern summertime plus the heat coming off the machines, it was loud, it was monotonous, and it was exhausting.  I quickly learned that repeating the same fifteen motions all day long was not for me.  I worked harder than anyone else and got promoted pretty quickly, and then get another promotion not too long after that.  It wasn’t the company or a sense of purpose that made me work as hard as I could, it was making minimum wage busting my back, barely providing for my family and not wanting to do that anymore.  Comparing my company now to past companies, I can say that having that level of transparency in the company to know where you’re at and where you’re going, knowing what’s expected from you and why, knowing where you fit in the overall picture, can all make a difference.  That said, having a sense of purpose can only go so far; if you don’t like what you do, the people you work with, how your treated, how much you make, etc, then it only takes you so far…