Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 427–448 | Cite as

The Contribution of Job Happiness and Job Meaning to the Well-Being of Workers from Thriving and Failing Companies

  • Marta BassiEmail author
  • Gertraud Bacher
  • Luca Negri
  • Antonella Delle Fave


In a time of global economic crisis, workers’ well-being is of paramount concern for both organizations and society at large. Conceptualizations within positive psychology distinguish between hedonic and eudaimonic well-being components, and call for the need to include them in an integrated perspective. Within this framework, the present study aimed at investigating the impact of situational uncertainty on eudaimonic and hedonic well-being, and the spillover effects of work into individuals’ lives. Data were collected from 85 Italian employees at a thriving insurance company and at a failing one. Participants were administered Job Content Questionnaire, Eudaimonic and Hedonic Happiness Investigation, Satisfaction with Life Scale, and Psychological Wellbeing Scales. Data were analyzed through hierarchical regression analyses. Concerning well-being at work, employees at the failing company reported higher job insecurity and lower job happiness compared to employees at the thriving company, while job meaning scores did not differ between groups. Concerning general well-being, an unexpected positive association was found between positive relations and situational uncertainty. A spillover effect of job happiness and meaning on life satisfaction, environmental mastery, and autonomy was also detected. In particular, a moderating effect of job meaning was identified, showing that attributing high importance to one’s job had wide affective consequences, spilling over to global life evaluations. Findings bring forward practical suggestions for well-being promotion, in terms of shifting domain importance (Wu Journal of Happiness Studies 10:37–47, 2009), and investing in multiple life areas (Sirgy and Wu Journal of Happiness Studies 10:183–196, 2009) for the promotion of a balanced life.


Eudaimonic well-being Hedonic well-being Economic crisis Downsizing Job happiness Job meaning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Bassi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gertraud Bacher
    • 1
  • Luca Negri
    • 1
  • Antonella Delle Fave
    • 1
  1. 1.Università degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Cliniche Luigi SaccoUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly

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