The Sociomaterial Negotiation of Social Entrepreneurs’ Meaningful Work. / Symon, Gillian; Whiting, Rebecca.

In: Journal of Management Studies, 19.10.2018, p. 1-30.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

E-pub ahead of print


This research examines the role of digital technology in the constitution of meaningful work. Adopting a sociomaterial perspective, we argue that meaningful work emerges as an outcome of a complex negotiation between individuals and their digital devices. This process was explored through video diaries and interviews with social entrepreneurs, capturing moments of their everyday meaning-making and encouraging reflexivity. Accounting for their sociomaterial practice led participants to reaffirm their work as uniquely meaningful, produce more nuanced accounts of meaningfulness and/or make pragmatic adjustments to their meaning making. Whilst authenticity was a key meta-narrative in these accounts, it also produced tensional knots which, in their unravelling, required the adoption of more practicable meanings of work. The paper concludes by urging scholars to de-centre the human from their analysis to provide a more complete account of meaningful work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Early online date19 Oct 2018
StateE-pub ahead of print - 19 Oct 2018
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

ID: 31436095