Hard/heart worker: work intensification in purpose-driven organizations

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelpeer review

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

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Funding: The research project is partly financed by Innovation Fund Denmark, no. 7047-00004B. The project investigates the future of knowledge work in new types of organization and its potentials and pitfalls. It comprises three case studies. The foundation has no influence in the choices of cases neither the result of the analysis. Further information can be read here: www.futureknowledgework.com

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Emneord

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

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