The Economist

Bartleby: Purpose and the employee

Bartleby: Purpose and the employee

Some people want to change the world. But not everyone

  • gennaio 29, 2022
  • Tempo di lettura min.

The Economist

Bartleby: Purpose and the employee

New research from Bain, a consultancy, into the attitudes of 20,000 workers across ten countries confirms that people are motivated by different things.

Bain identifies six different archetypes, far too few to reflect the complexity of individuals but a lot better than a single lump of employees. "Pioneers" are the people on a mission to change the world; "artisans" are interested in mastering a specific skill; "operators" derive a sense of meaning from life outside work; "strivers" are more focused on pay and status; "givers" want to do work that directly improves the lives of others; and "explorers" seek out new experiences.

These archetypes are unevenly distributed across different industries and roles. Pioneers in particular are more likely to cluster in management roles. The Bain survey finds that 25% of American executives match this archetype, but only 9% of the overall US sample does so.

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