Master’s Series: Meaningful Work
Dr. Neal Chalofsky, George Washington University


“Meaningful Work: A Good Living vs. A Good Life"
Monday, April 9


This presentation will cover how the nature of work changed from the pre-industrial era to the present and how the different generations have viewed work as part of their lives. I will discuss my concept of the elements of meaningful work and how people need to consider these in relations to what gives them meaning in their work.  I will end with a discussion of what constitutes a meaningful workplace.


Dr. Chalofsky is Associate Professor, Human and Organizational Learning at The George Washington University, and previously was the director of the Human Resource Development program at the Northern Virginia Graduate Center of Virginia Tech. He began his career an internal HRD practitioner, manager, and researcher for several federal and corporate organizations for over a decade. Neal has served as a past president of the local American Society for Training and Development chapter, and is a founding member of the Academy for Human Resource Development. Organizations that he has consulted with include: The World Bank, Mobil Research and Development Corporation, Bell Atlantic, National Institute for Work and Learning, Computer Sciences Corporation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Smithsonian, and Ernst & Young.

Neal is the coauthor of Effective Human Resource Development, and Up the HRD Ladder, as well as numerous chapters of edited works and journal articles. His research interests are in the areas of developing meaningful workplaces, increasing capacity for learning, facilitation and team development, and the evolution of the HRD/HOL profession and discipline.

Dr. Chalofsky was interviewed for a blog article on meaningful work that appears on the website Headspace, a popular meditation and mindfulness site and app. The blog was entitled Does a job need to be meaningful?


Chalofsky, N. (2010). Meaningful workplaces: Reframing how and where we work. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Chalofsky, N. (2008). Work-life programs and organizational culture: The essence of workplace community. Organization Development Journal, 26, 11-18.

Chalofsky, N. (2007). The seminal foundation of the discipline of hrd: People, learning, and organizations. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 18, 431-442.

Goodman, P. & Chalofsky, N. (2005). Exploratory research on the effect of autonomous learners to team learning within healthcare. In M. A. Rahim & R. T. Golembiewski (Eds.) Current Topics in Management, Vol. 10.