Influence of Interindividual Differences and Professional Mobility on the Meaning of Work

Empirical Studies
By Caroline Arnoux-Nicolas, Odile Dosnon, Noëlle Lallemand, Laurent Sovet, Annamaria Di Fabio, Jean-Luc Bernaud


Despite the conceptualization and the measurement of the meaning of work being the subject of a growing scientific literature, little research has been conducted on its predictors. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of interindividual differences and career mobility on the meaning of work amongst administrative employees from various French public universities. A sample of 500 participants completed several psychometric scales assessing personality (Big Five, locus of control), career mobility (objective and subjective indicators), and the meaning of work. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that the personality and subjective indicators of career mobility uniquely accounted for 17 % and 21 %, respectively, of the variance of the meaning of work. These results particularly highlighted the importance of the perception an individual has of career mobility in understanding its effects on the meaning of work. The need of a dynamic understanding of the meaning of work and how to support employees in relation to their work are discussed.


  • meaning of work
  • career mobility
  • personality traits
  • locus of control
  • administrative employees
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