Work engagement, burn-out, and alienation: linking new and old concepts of positive and negative work experiences
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Research has produced calls for organizations to take a more proactive role in making the workplace more conducive to good mental health. This conceptual paper draws on research over a wide range of years to present an alternative perspective on how organizations might respond by revisiting the often overlooked concept of 'alienation' in conjunction with the more recent concepts of engagement and burn-out. It outlines the development of the concept of alienation from its classic articulation by Marx through to the perspective offered by existential psychologists such as Blauner. How alienation thus defined might manifest in the workplace, and its possible linkages to other concepts associated positive and negative work experiences, are then discussed. We argue that alienation needs to be addressed at the systemic and individual level. Strategies to counterbalance the negative effects that systemic and individual changes are unable to eliminate are presented.
26th Annual Conference British Academy of Management: Management Research Revisited: Prospects for Theory and Practice Proceedings
© 2012 British Academy of Management (BAM). The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the conference's website for access to the definitive, published version.