Work and Its meanings: a study of forensic experts in the Federal Police


  • Andrea Leite Rodrigues
  • Alcides Barrichello
  • Hélio Arthur Reis Irigaray
  • Donaldson Resende Soares
  • Estelle M. Morin


meaning of work, psychological well-being, psychological distress, organizational commitment, Federal Police


One of the main challenges of human resources management in public administration is to make sure that civil servants are committed to and driven by values of the public ethos. Understanding the elements that give mean­ing to their work can be a way to take pertinent action, leaving aside the stigma and misinterpretation of the relationship between individuals and their work in the public sector. This article aims to assess the antecedent factors of our central construct, meaning of work, and its relationships with psychological well-being, psycho­logical distress and affective commitment for forensic experts in the Federal Police. It is a quantitative study that uses confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. The results show that forensic experts find meaning in their work through its social utility and the opportunities they have to learn and develop. Meaning is positively related to psychological well-being and affective commitment, and negatively related to psychological distress. This study discusses the results of applying this model in light of a managerial accountability framework to develop the civil service and concludes that it offers a good contribution to human resources management in the public sector, making it possible to discuss factors that favor the experience of commitment and psychological quality of life in the work environment.



How to Cite

Rodrigues, A. L., Barrichello, A., Irigaray, H. A. R., Soares, D. R., & Morin, E. M. (2017). Work and Its meanings: a study of forensic experts in the Federal Police. Brazilian Journal of Public Administration, 51(6), 1058-1084. Retrieved from