Hard/heart worker: work intensification in purpose driven organisations

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Abstract

Purpose – The paper seeks to illuminate the intersection between doing greater good in the world and the selfdisciplining
that comes along with it. The paper raises a discussion on how purpose-driven organizations with
a sustainability focus should be concerned about internal social sustainability in order to maintain consistency
between external purpose and internal well-being of employees.
Design/methodology/approach – This article investigates the interrelations between purpose-driven
organizations’ quest for social sustainability and internal work conditions exemplified through experiences
with work intensification. A governmentality studies approach is applied to investigate how employees’
perceptions of doing greater good in the world also become a productive self-disciplining strategy that
potentially increases work intensification and simultaneously result in an instrumentalization of working for
greater sustainability.
Findings – Working with an organizational sustainability purpose can, in some situations, create dilemmas
that may decrease employee well-being as it demands continuous negotiation of boundaries between paid work
and free time, meaningfulness and work devotion, self-management and work intensification.
Originality/value – The paper raises a discussion on how purpose-driven organizations with a sustainability
focus should be concerned about internal (social) sustainability in order to maintain consistency between
external purpose and internal well-being of employees.
Keywords Work intensification, Knowledge work, Purpose, Sustainability, Technologies of the self,
Work devotion
Paper type Research paper
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftQualitative Research in Organizations and Management
Vol/bindahead-of-print
Udgave nummerahead-of-print
Antal sider21
ISSN1746-5648
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 12 jan. 2021

Emneord

  • fremtidens arbejdsmarked
  • vidensarbejde
  • Bæredygtighed
  • værdidreven organisation
  • verdensmål
  • arbejdsintensivering
  • stress

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