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The meaning of work and complexity: a dual approach using behaviour analisys and complex systems theories

Grant number: 13/18737-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2014 - December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Administration - Business Administration
Principal Investigator:Andrea Leite Rodrigues
Grantee:Andrea Leite Rodrigues
Home Institution: Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades (EACH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Camilo Rodrigues Neto


The work retains an important role in contemporary society and became the first form of social identity, being a central factor in the a man's life. Topics such as motivation, commitment and quality of work life occupy a space of relevance in the field of organizational behavior. This paper presents a research project whose purpose is to discover the factors and processes related to the social meaning of work and its impact on other constructs relevant to the field of organizational behavior, namely: psychological wellbeing, stress at work involvement, presenteeism, commitment and professional guidance. It also aims to explore the contributions of the theoretical and methodological framework of the theory of complex systems for the study of the meanings of work, organizational behavior and its constructs. The following hypotheses will be tested: 1. These job characteristics are positively correlated: social purpose, moral rectitude, learning and development opportunities, autonomy, recognition and quality of workplace relationships. 2. The six characteristics mentioned above are positively correlated to the senses work. 3 . The meanings of work positively influence the well- being at work. 4. The meanings of work negatively influence psychological stress at work. 5. The meanings of work positively influence the work commitment. 6. The meanings of work are negatively correlated with presenteeism. 7. Vocational guidance serves as moderator variable in the relationship between meanings of work and other constructs: psychological wellbeing, stress at work, commitment, involvement and presenteeism. Morin (2008) presented a similar proposal work investigating organizations belonging to the Network of Safety and Health at Work of the Province of Quebec, Canada. Organizations objects of study are: a. A social organization of health (OSS): a network of clinical laboratories called State Center for Clinical Analysis South, or just ECAC - South. Meets public hospitals, outpatient (AMEs) and Basic Health Units (BHU). Contingent total of 440 individuals. b. A social organization of culture: the State Symphony Orchestra of São Paulo (OSESP), which has 330 employees. This research aims to answer the following questions: What is the meaning of the work to the professionals of these organizations? Why work there? What are your expectations , emotions and professional guidelines? What factors favor or disfavor the meeting of meaning at work? What is the dynamic behavior of the factors related to the meaning of work? As organizational performance emerges from the individual behavior of the individual who experiences the sense in your work? Due to the multitude of factors that generally influence the social and psychological processes, it becomes very difficult to describe and understand the analytical form such relationships. In turn, the traditional analytical methods, such as statistical analysis and structural equation models have difficulties in dealing with social and psychological phenomena as phenomena that emerge explicitly from the interaction between individuals, groups, classes and subpopulations, the alternative has been the use increasing computational simulations. For such cases, the modeling of complex systems, through tools such as modeling and simulation-based agents, allows a better alternative description of reality and offer the advantage of allowing the description and analysis of the dynamics of social processes that make up the organizational system studied both at the global level (organization), as at the individual level (individuals and groups). (AU)