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Meaning of work for managers in the Brazilian contemporary business context

Purpose: To examine how professionals in managerial positions in Brazil define the meaning of work and thereby initiate a reflection on organizational implications and consequences. Originality/value: This study addresses two research opportunities. It develops the thematic meaning of work beyond professional categories, emphasizing organizational and management positions and approaches in a complementary way, the research on managers that focuses primarily on personal development and execution of the organizational role. Design/methodology/approach: The research approach uses mixed methods-both qualitative and quantitative methods (interview, questionnaire, and focus group). Across all phases, 316 managers and executives participated in the research. Variables of the Meaning of Work (MOW) model supported the data collection. Descriptive and inferential statistics and multivariate data analysis were used for data treatment. Findings: Although recognized as a pleasant, paid activity of high centrality in life, fulfilling intrinsic values (recognition, autonomy, learning opportunities), work has different interpretations based on where it is executed, whom it benefits, extrinsic values expectations, and ability to handle stress factors. Different from other international studies, this work has found possible relationships between the meaning of work and organizational culture. The meaning of the work of managers has organizational implications by impacting daily work, managerial styles, and the implementation of people management practices.