This paper’s starting point is the idea that a market for meaning in life exists that consists of several submarkets. Suppose someone wants to enter this market with a business or organization that tries to alleviate meaninglessness. How can the person shape the proposition that he or she wants to offer? We propose that Baumeister’s (1992) theory of needs for meaning can serve as a useful tool. Bau-meister states that meaning is generated when the needs for a goal, fulfillment, context, control, and self-worth are simultaneously met. Taking the market for alternative spiritual courses as a case ex-ample, we show that this theory is adequate for describing the variety of alternative spiritual courses in terms of a limited number of meaning models. Would-be providers on the market for meaning in life can create propositions by following, reordering, or creating meaning models. Examples of such propositions are given for a number of submarkets.
Van Gelderen, M. (2006). Meaning in life as an opportunity for enterprise. Journal of Enterprising Culture. Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 307-21.