How Do Fieldworkers in Poverty Craft Meaningful Roles to Achieve Social Impact? Female Teachers in Slums in India. By: Barkema, Harry G; Coyle-Shapiro, Jacqueline A-M. and le Grand, Eva M. 2024. Academy of Management Journal. Vol. 67 Issue 1, p232-261.

Prior research has adopted a job-crafting perspective to explain why employees attempt to craft their roles meaningfully (Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001). We explore this theoretical lens in a new context that is particularly challenging for workers and where it would seem unlikely to apply: poverty. More specifically, we study female teachers in slums in India. We use a mixed-methods approach—first qualitative research, then quantitative research—to contextualize job-crafting theorizing by identifying,conceptualizing, and testing situational challenges and enablers in regard to meaningful work in this context. More specifically, we develop and corroborate new theory suggesting that poverty- and gender-related stressors deplete teachers’ energy and resources, limiting relational job crafting, but that teachers’ identification with the community helps to counteract this challenge, ultimately increasing their social impact. More fundamentally, we show how job-crafting theorizing, contextualized in a poverty setting, helpsto explain how social organizations, through their fieldworkers (e.g., female teachers), create social impact.