A1 Journal article (refereed)
University as a workplace : searching for meaningful work (2020)

Riivari, E., Malin, V., Jääskelä, P., & Lukkari, T. (2020). University as a workplace : searching for meaningful work. Teaching in Higher Education, 25(3), 286-304. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2018.1563061

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Riivari, Elina; Malin, Virpi; Jääskelä, Päivikki; Lukkari, Teija

Journal or series: Teaching in Higher Education

ISSN: 1356-2517

eISSN: 1470-1294

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 25

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 286-304

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2018.1563061

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68337


Work in academia is changing, and research suggests that not all the changes are desirable. Higher education is developing in a direction heavily criticized, especially in relation to the concepts of neoliberal and academic capitalism. In this article, we explore meaningful work in a university context. Our focus lies on individual lecturers’ positive opportunities to make work meaningful and the university a better place to work for both students and faculty. We examine meaningful work as a relational phenomenon: how meaningfulness is constructed through features such as dialogue, expertise, interaction and sharing of ideas. Our empirical findings are based on analysis of qualitative and quantitative data collected in a business school management course deliberately developed to promote cooperation, interaction and shared learning as central tenets of meaningful work. Both faculty members’ and students’ perspectives on meaningful work are discussed.

Keywords: institutions of higher education; universities; employees; work content; work motivation; dialogicality; cooperation (general); dialogue

Free keywords: meaningful work; higher education; good organization; cooperation

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2023-27-02 at 09:40