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Journal cover: Journal of Organizational Change Management

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Online from: 1988

Subject Area: Organization Studies

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Crafting sustainable work: development of personal resources

Document Information:
Title:Crafting sustainable work: development of personal resources
Author(s):Mari Kira, (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University School of Science and Technology, Aalto, Finland), Frans M. van Eijnatten, (Human Performance Management Group, Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands), David B. Balkin, (Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA)
Citation:Mari Kira, Frans M. van Eijnatten, David B. Balkin, (2010) "Crafting sustainable work: development of personal resources", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 23 Iss: 5, pp.616 - 632
Keywords:Employee development, Job design, Self development, Workability
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/09534811011071315 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This paper has been funded by the Academy of Finland, grant number: 119612, and by the Finnish Work Environment Fund (Mari Kira). The research work of David Balkin has been funded by an AGAUR Grant No. 2008PIV 0083 with the support of the commission for universities and research of the ministry of innovation, universities and enterprise of the Government of Catalonia while he was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Labor Studies at IEL/ESADE in Barcelona, Spain.

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to conceptualize employees' sustainable work abilities, or their long-term adaptive and proactive abilities to work, farewell at work, and contribute through working. Sustainable work is defined as to promote the development in personal resources leading to sustainable work ability.

Design/methodology/approach – The conceptual paper distinguishes vital personal resources underlying an employee's sustainable work ability and categorizes these resources with the help of integral theory. Collaborative work crafting was outlined as a tool to promote the development of personal resources and sustainable work ability.

Findings – Sustainable work ability depends on personal resources relating to our human nature as both individual and communal beings with both interior and exterior worlds. Work crafting may create sustainable work in which existing personal resources are benefited from, developed further through learning, or translated into novel resources.

Practical implications – When formal job descriptions and preplanned job design do not work in post-industrial work, traditional job design can be replaced by collaborative work crafting, which allows development in both work and employees.

Originality/value – The paper synthesizes different types of personal resources needed for sustainable working and outlines their development processes, rather than adds one more theory to explain some specific aspect of well-being, development, and functioning. The paper offers one of the first definitions of sustainable work.

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