The Work-Life Synthesis as a Novel Structure in NGOs: A Phenomenological Study

Document Type : Research Article


Assistant Professor, Department of Management, Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran


In recent years, the relationship between life and work has grabbed the attention of many researchers in various scientific fields. The diversity of viewpoints in various scientific fields shows the depth of the work-life relationships and the necessity of paying attention to the various issues affecting them. This exploratory study was carried out to understand the work experience and its relationship with life from the viewpoint of the employees working in NGOs. The study was planned based on the qualitative approach of phenomenology and used Moustakas’ eight-step method in this regard. In order to collect data, story-like deep interviews were made with 11 employees of Mahak institute as an NGO. Reflexivity and thick data were used to confirm the credibility of the analyses. As a result of the analyses, 11 themes of belief in the purposefulness of life, treatment of job as a mission, living the professional mission, having a demanding work, constant mental engagement, perception of conflicting identities, consistency and stability of values, revival as a result of accepting the protective role, spread of satisfaction to various arenas of life, existence of spirituality in life, and tolerance in life and work were obtained in the form of three clusters that described positive, negative, and, synthesized strains of employees’ life and work. The contextual individual, structural individual, and contextual-structural individual descriptions were offered. To sum up, a mixed contextual-structural description based on the novel structure of “life-work synthesis” as the lived experience of employees was presented.


Main Subjects

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