Orientation: The work of industrial/organisational (I/O) psychologists presents an interesting and
relevant context for studying meaning and engagement as components of happiness.
Research purpose: The aim of this study was to determine how I/O psychologists experience the
meaning of their work and to investigate the relationships between their experiences of work-role
fit, meaning of work, psychological meaningfulness and work engagement, utilising the happiness
framework proposed by Seligman (2002).
Motivation for the study: I/O psychologists spend more than 88% of their working day with
people, and they are primary role models for happiness in the workplace. Information about their
work engagement and experiences of meaning is therefore needed.
Research design, approach and method: A survey design was used. A convenience sample (n =
106) was taken of I/O psychologists in South Africa. A biographical questionnaire, the Work-Role Fit
Scale, the Work-Life Questionnaire, the Psychological Meaningfulness Scale, the Work Engagement
Scale and a survey measuring the actual and desired time spent on six broad categories of work
Main findings: Work-role fit predicted psychological meaningfulness and work engagement. The
calling orientation to work predicted both psychological meaningfulness and work engagement.
Work-role fit mediated the relationship between the meaning of work and psychological
meaningfulness. Work-role fit partially mediated the relationship between a calling orientation to
work and work engagement.
Practical implications: A calling orientation to work should be fostered in I/O psychologists
because it contributes to experiences of work-role fit, psychological meaningfulness and work
Contribution/value-add: The results of this study contribute to scientific knowledge about workrole
fit, engagement and meaning as components of happiness of I/O psychologists