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The importance of social connections in fostering meaningful work

Social network

Is your work meaningful to you? In a new article published in the Academy of Management Review, Associate Professor Jane O’Reilly, from the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management, and her co-authors claim that employees develop a sense of meaning when they can achieve goals that have a purpose. However, to achieve these goals, employees need to have social connections to others who can offer them supporting resources along the way.

For many of us, it may not be only about what we do, but rather who can help us achieve what we do that ultimately cultivates meaningful work. Watch the video to find out why employees, organizations, and managers should be aware of the importance of social connections in fostering meaningful work:

Animation designed by Lisa Chhun

Voiceover by Nina Nesdoly


Read the article published by Professor O’Reilly and co-authors:

Robertson, K., O'Reilly, J. and Hannah, D. 2019. “Finding Meaning in Relationships: The Impact of Network Ties and Structure on the Meaningfulness of Work.” Academy of Management Review.

Learn more about the research happening at the Telfer School of Management that seeks to improve employee well-being: Thriving Organizations and Societies


Professor O'Reilly

Jane O'Reilly is an Associate Professor and Telfer Fellow in Workplace Wellbeing at the Telfer School of Management. Her research examines informal workplace interactions and relationships. Learn more about her work.

 

About the Author

Lidiane Cunha a été agente de la mobilisation des connaissances en matière de recherche à l'École de gestion Telfer de 2017 à 2022. Elle a notamment traduit des projets de recherche et des résultats complexes en un langage accessible, et a élaboré des histoires d'impact, des vidéos et des infographies. De plus, elle a fourni des conseils en matière de communication pour aider les administrateurs principaux, les membres du corps professoral et de la population étudiante aux études supérieures à rehausser le profil de la recherche à Telfer. Elle a élaboré une stratégie de communication pour le bureau de la recherche de Telfer, en plus de faire participer les diplômé.e.s et les partenaires communautaires à des initiatives visant à faire connaître la recherche de Telfer.<br><br>Lidiane Cunha was a Research Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Telfer from 2017 to 2022. She translated complex research projects and findings into plain language and developed impact stories, videos, and infographics. She also provided communications advice to help senior administrators, professors, and graduate students raise the research profile of the Telfer School of Management; developed a communications strategy for Telfer’s Research office; and engaged alumni and community partners in initiatives to raise awareness about Telfer’s research.

Profile Photo of Lidiane Cunha