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A Heuristic Study of Religious Spirituality and Meaningful Work Open Access

Abstract of DissertationA Heuristic Study of Religious Spirituality and Meaningful Work Spirituality in the workplace has received increased focus over the past two decades. This heuristic study examined how religious spirituality informs and/or influences individual perceptions of meaningful work experiences. A literature review on the subject found a dearth of research. The primary research question was the following: What is the relationship between religious spirituality and meaningful work for the co-researchers in the study? The eight co-researchers were members of a United Methodist congregation in Washington, DC. The co-researchers ranged in age from 30 to 53 years old. All identified as African American. Six discussed meaningful work experiences that involved paid work, while the other two mentioned meaningful work experiences as unpaid volunteers. Semi-structured interviews were used as the primary means of collecting data. The researcher analyzed and synthesized the data using Moustakas’s (1990) approach. The co-researchers’ experiences shared four themes. The first, seeking God’s purpose, relates to the co-researcher’s desire to do work considered pleasing in God’s sight and in pursuit of the fulfillment of a higher purpose or calling. The second theme involves placing a priority on the mission of the work versus the monetary benefit. The third, growing spiritually through meaningful work, describes the intangible benefit co-researchers received through their meaningful work experiences. Finally, the fourth theme, impacting the lives of others, is described as a key component of all of the co-researcher’s meaningful work experiences. Based on the results, a creative synthesis was developed, and implications and recommendations are suggested.

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