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The work orientation of state ambassadors: beyond the call of duty - when work is a 'way of life'

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Article number16445
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventUS Academy of Management, Vancouver - Vancouver, United States
Duration: 7/08/201511/08/2015


ConferenceUS Academy of Management, Vancouver
Country/TerritoryUnited States


This paper examines the work orientation of diplomats. Drawing on interviews with 57 Israeli State Ambassadors about their career, this study further develops Wrzesniewski et al.'s (1997) tripartite work orientation model (job, career and calling). Three core categories emerged from the participants’ accounts: calling, career and way of life. Those with a calling orientation assigned transcendence significance to their work, combined with coherence: they perceived their work as a service to their country, and felt it was their moral duty to undertake the work, despite the sacrifices it entailed. They also emphasised the fit between their work requirements and their abilities. Those with a career orientation assigned status significance to their work: they derived meaning from their position in the organizational, and valued the job security of their career-for-life. The ambassadors who displayed a way of life orientation assigned dominance significance to their work: they referred to all consuming nature of work, and the blurred boundaries between work, family and social life. They viewed work as a factor that dominated and dictated both their own and their families' lives.