Stuart Bunderson: Work as a Calling

Mike interviews Stuart Bunderson about his research on work as a calling. Drawing on rich philosophical and theological traditions, Stuart talks about how calling changes the way people think about their occupations. Using an unusual sample of zookeepers, he discovered what seeing work as a calling means both to the employee and to the organization.

Stuart Bunderson

Dr. J. Stuart Bunderson is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Olin School of Management at Washington University in St. Louis. Before coming to Olin, he worked in organization and management development at PepsiCo, Inc., and studied change management at Allina Health System.

Recommended further readings:

  • Boyatzis, R., McKee, A., & Goleman, D. (2002). Reawakening Your Passion for Work. Harvard Business Review, 80(4), 86-94.
  • Bunderson, J., & Thompson, J. (2009). The Call of the Wild: Zookeepers, Callings, and the Double-edged Sword of Deeply Meaningful Work. Administrative Science Quarterly, 54(1), 32-57.
  • Hardy, L. (1990). Fabric of This World: Inquiries into Calling, Career Choice, and the Design of Human Work. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing.
  • Novak, M. (1996). Business as a Calling: Work and the Examined Life. New York: The Free Press.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson is an Assistant Professor in Department of Management and Organization at the University of Washington. He can be reached via