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This paper outlines major theoretical and methodological problems in Quality of Work Life (QWL) research within organisational studies and discusses possible solutions, based on extensive literature analysis. An electronic search in the Scopus database found 1,244 publications utilising the QWL concept. From this sample we selected 387 papers dealing directly with QWL and compiled a final set of publications for detailed review. The literature analysis revealed the absence of a clear and concrete understanding of QWL, various (and often incomplete) approaches to QWL content and indicators and interference between QWL and other concepts such as ‘job satisfaction’, which all resulted in a general confusion about the notion in academic discussions. As a possible solution, we suggested distinguishing clearly and including the following in the single integrative research instrument: 1) an aggregate subjective QWL measurement tool and 2) an aggregate objective QWL measurement tool. Finally, we present arguments for a new understanding of QWL, combining subjective and objective measures in the context of a general integration between ‘working conditions’ and ‘needs satisfaction’ approaches.

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