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All Work and No Play? A Meta-Analytic Examination of the Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism

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All Work and No Play? A Meta-Analytic Examination of the Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism

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Empirical research on workaholism has been hampered by a lack of consensus regarding the definition and appropriate measurement of the construct. In the present study, we first review prior conceptualizations of workaholism in an effort to identify a definition of workaholism. Then, we conduct a meta-analysis of the correlates and outcomes of workaholism to clarify its nomological network. Results indicate that workaholism is related to achievement-oriented personality traits (i.e., perfectionism, Type A personality), but is generally unrelated to many other dispositional (e.g., conscientiousness, self-esteem, positive affect) and demographic (e.g., gender, parental status, marital status) variables. Findings are mixed regarding the relationship between workaholism and affectively laden variables, which speaks to the complex nature of workaholism. Results also show that workaholism is related to many negative outcomes, such as burnout, job stress, work–life conflict, and decreased physical and mental health. Overall, results provide solid evidence that workaholism is best conceptualized as an addiction to work that leads to many negative individual, interpersonal, and organizational outcomes.
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Journal of Management
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DOI: 10.1177/0149206314522301
published online 28 February 2014Journal of Management
Malissa A. Clark, Jesse S. Michel, Ludmila Zhdanova, Shuang Y. Pui and Boris B. Baltes
Outcomes of Workaholism
All Work and No Play? A Meta-Analytic Examination of the Correlates and
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DOI: 10.1177/0149206314522301
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1
All Work and No Play? A Meta-Analytic
Examination of the Correlates and
Outcomes of Workaholism
Malissa A. Clark
University of Georgia
Jesse S. Michel
Florida International University
Ludmila Zhdanova
Carleton University
Shuang Y. Pui
Safeway Inc.
Boris B. Baltes
Wayne State University
Empirical research on workaholism has been hampered by a lack of consensus regarding the
definition and appropriate measurement of the construct. In the present study, we first review
prior conceptualizations of workaholism in an effort to identify a definition of workaholism.
Then, we conduct a meta-analysis of the correlates and outcomes of workaholism to clarify its
nomological network. Results indicate that workaholism is related to achievement-oriented
personality traits (i.e., perfectionism, Type A personality), but is generally unrelated to many
other dispositional (e.g., conscientiousness, self-esteem, positive affect) and demographic (e.g.,
gender, parental status, marital status) variables. Findings are mixed regarding the relationship
between workaholism and affectively laden variables, which speaks to the complex nature of
workaholism. Results also show that workaholism is related to many negative outcomes, such
as burnout, job stress, work–life conflict, and decreased physical and mental health. Overall,
results provide solid evidence that workaholism is best conceptualized as an addiction to work
that leads to many negative individual, interpersonal, and organizational outcomes.
Keywords: workaholism; meta-analysis; correlates; outcomes; work–life conflict; well-being
Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank Daniel Krenn and Olivia Childers for their assistance with
coding, and Christopher M. Berry for his thoughtful comments on an earlier version of the article.
Corresponding author: Malissa A. Clark, Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, 228 Psychology
Building, Athens, GA 30602, USA.
E-mail: clarkm@uga.edu
522301JOMXXX10.1177/0149206314522301Journal of ManagementClark et al.
research-article2014
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2 Journal of Management / Month 201X
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in research devoted to the study of
workaholism. To illustrate this surge in interest, a keyword search was performed in
PsycINFO and 178 entries were found. Of these, 156 (88%) had been published from
2000 to the present. However, there continues to be confusion surrounding the defini-
tion, conceptualization, and measurement of workaholism, which has resulted in diverg-
ing opinions over whether workaholism is a positive (Baruch, 2011) or negative
(Schaufeli, Taris, & Bakker, 2008) phenomenon. Several large-scale reviews and theo-
retical articles have been published on the topic of workaholism (Ng, Sorensen, &
Feldman, 2007; Scott, Moore, & Miceli, 1997; Snir & Harpaz, 2012), but to date there
has not been a quantitative summary of this literature. Given the increased attention
devoted to the study of workaholism in the organizational behavior literature, coupled
with the existing confusion surrounding the appropriate conceptualization of the con-
struct, a quantitative summary of this literature is timely and necessary to advance both
theory and empirical research on this topic.
Workaholism has been linked to both positive and negative outcomes. For example,
researchers have documented several negative outcomes that can stem from workahol-
ism, such as poorer mental health (Taris, Schaufeli, & Verhoeven, 2005), poorer physical
health (Kanai, Wakabayashi, & Fling, 1996), and increased work–family conflict
(Bakker, Demerouti, & Burke, 2009). However, as mentioned above, some have sug-
gested that workaholism can be constructive and beneficial (Baruch, 2011), and may be
linked with positive outcomes such as increased job satisfaction (Ng et al., 2007). Indeed,
a meta-analysis by Ng, Eby, Sorensen, and Feldman (2005) found a small but positive
relationship between hours worked (sometimes used as a proxy for workaholism) and
career satisfaction. This suggests that workaholism may have positive as well as negative
outcomes, but findings are mixed across studies (e.g., Brady, Vodanovich, & Rotunda,
2008; Burke, 2001b).
One of the main issues hindering theoretical and empirical progress regarding the study of
workaholism is a lack of agreement on what workaholism actually is. Workaholism has been
discussed as an addiction (Ng et al., 2007; Porter, 2006; Robinson, 2000a), as a behavior pat-
tern (Scott et al., 1997), and as a syndrome (Aziz & Zickar, 2006). In addition, some research-
ers have categorized workaholics into different workaholic “types” (e.g., anorexic workaholic,
relaxed workaholic; Robinson, 2000a; Scott et al., 1997; Spence & Robbins, 1992), where
different types of workaholics have differential relationships with outcomes such as job per-
formance and job satisfaction (Scott et al., 1997). This article begins with a brief review of
the workaholism literature, with a particular focus on how workaholism has been conceptual-
ized to date, followed by our proposed integrated definition of workaholism. Next, we out-
line the various correlates and outcomes that we expect will relate to the construct of
workaholism. Finally, we use meta-analytic techniques to examine these proposed
relationships.
Defining Workaholism
Oates (1971) is often credited with coining the term workaholism, and he describes a
workaholic as someone whose need for work has become so excessive that it creates notice-
able disturbance or interference with personal health and happiness, interpersonal relations,
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Clark et al. / Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism 3
and social functioning. Since Oates, the term workaholism has been conceptualized in a
variety of different ways. To illustrate this point, we have summarized the main ways
researchers have defined and operationalized workaholism (see Table 1). From our examina-
tion of the various definitions and operationalizations of workaholism, we see many com-
monalities among these definitions, as well as some disagreements, which are elaborated on
in the next sections.
Areas of Consensus
Turning first to the areas of consensus across workaholism definitions, it is clear the
majority of scholars conceptualize workaholism as an addiction to work. The three most
widely used scales to assess workaholism, the Workaholism Battery (Spence & Robbins,
1992), the Work Addiction Risk Test (WART; Robinson, 1989), and the Dutch Workaholism
Scale (DUWAS; Schaufeli, Shimazu, & Taris, 2009), are all based on the idea that workahol-
ism is an addiction to work. This sentiment is also echoed in recent theoretical perspectives
on workaholism (Ng et al., 2007). Addiction involves compulsion and preoccupation with
the behavior, loss of self-control, and continued engagement in the behavior despite negative
consequences (Smith & Seymour, 2004; Sussman & Sussman, 2011), and prior research and
theory suggest that workaholics exhibit each of these characteristics (e.g., Ng et al., 2007;
Robinson, 1998; Scott et al., 1997).
Second, workaholism involves a preoccupation and compulsion regarding one’s work.
This aspect of workaholism is echoed in most conceptualizations of the construct (e.g., Ng
et al., 2007; Spence & Robbins, 1992; Sussman, 2012). Specifically, workaholics are
obsessed with work, stemming from an inner compulsion or a need to work that cannot be
resisted or controlled (e.g., Oates, 1971; Schaufeli, Taris, & Bakker, 2008; Spence &
Robbins, 1992). Others go so far as to say that workaholism is an obsessive-compulsive
disorder (e.g., Fassel, 1990; Porter, 1996; Robinson, 1998). Workaholics constantly think
about work when they are not working and have a very difficult time disengaging from
work (Schaufeli, Taris, & Bakker, 2008; Scott et al., 1997; Spence & Robbins, 1992).
Working because of an internal compulsion to work can be differentiated from working
because of external drivers (e.g., organizational or financial requirements; Schaufeli, Taris,
& Bakker, 2008; Sussman, 2012). Specifically, workaholics do not engage in excessive
work due to external factors such as financial problems, poor marriage, or pressure by their
organization or supervisor. Rather, a key aspect of workaholic behavior is that their exces-
sive involvement in work is not required of them, and it goes beyond what is reasonably
expected of them (Robinson, 1998; Schaufeli, Taris, & Bakker, 2008; Scott et al., 1997).
Working because of an internal compulsion or a feeling that one “should” work has also
been distinguished from working because of an internal passion or love of work (Graves,
Ruderman, Ohlott, & Weber, 2012; Snir & Harpaz, 2012; cf. McMillan & O’Driscoll,
2006), which is a key differentiating feature between workaholism and the related con-
struct of work engagement.
Finally, almost every conceptualization of workaholism involves the idea that workahol-
ics work longer and harder than others. Although some researchers have used hours worked
per week as an indicator of workaholism (Harpaz & Snir, 2003; Mosier, 1983), and many
others argue that excessive involvement with work is a critical component of the construct
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4 Journal of Management / Month 201X
Table 1
Summary of Definitions and Operationalizations of Workaholism
(Presented in Chronological Order)
Source Definitions of Workaholism/Workaholic
Operationalization of
Workaholism
Oates (1971: 4) A person whose need for work has become so excessive
that it creates noticeable disturbance or interference with
his bodily health, personal happiness, and interpersonal
relations, and with his smooth social functioning
Created types of workaholics
based on interviews
Machlowitz
(1980: 11)
Those whose desire to work long and hard is intrinsic
and whose work habits almost always exceed the
prescriptions of the job they do and the expectations of
the people with whom or for whom they work
Developed a 10-item questionnaire
that includes items relating to
compulsive tendencies, extreme
working habits, and persistent
focus on working; created
“types” of workaholics based on
interviews
Mosier (1983) Those who work at least 50 hours a week Workaholics were those who worked
more than 50 hours in a week
Fassel (1990: 2) A progressive, fatal disease in which a person is addicted
to the process of working
Created types of workaholics
based on interviews
Spence and
Robbins
(1992: 162)
A workaholic is a person who exhibits three properties:
in comparison to others, the workaholic is highly work
involved, feels compelled or driven to work because of
inner pressures, and is low in enjoyment of work
Developed the Workaholism
Battery, comprising three
dimensions: work involvement,
drive, and enjoyment of work
Porter (1996: 71) Excessive involvement with work evidenced by neglect
in other areas of life and based on internal motives of
behavior maintenance rather than requirements of the
job or organization
N/A (theoretical piece)
Scott, Moore, and
Miceli
(1997: 292)
Those who spend a good deal of time in work activities at
the expense of family and other outside obligations, who
persistently think about work when they are not at work, and
who go above what is reasonably expected of them at the job
N/A (theoretical piece)
Robinson
(1998: 7)
An obsessive-compulsive disorder that manifests itself
through self-imposed demands, an inability to regulate
work habits, and an overindulgence in work to the
exclusion of most other life activities
Developed the WART (Work
Addiction Risk Test), an overall
measure of workaholism
Mudrack and
Naughton
(2001: 108)
A set of behavioral tendencies to (a) spend considerable
time and energy engaged in work activities that are not
technically required and to (b) influence and control the
work of others
Developed a measure with two
subscales: (a) nonrequired work
and (b) control of others
Aziz and Zickar
(2006)
Workaholism is a syndrome, in which individuals need to
be high in work involvement and work drive, and low
in work enjoyment
Spence and Robbins’s
Workaholism Battery;
workaholics scored high on
work involvement and drive and
low on work enjoyment
Ng, Sorensen,
and Feldman
(2007: 114)
Those who enjoy the act of working, who are obsessed
with working, and who devote long hours and personal
time to work
N/A (theoretical piece)
Schaufeli, Taris,
and van Rhenen
(2008: 175)
Workaholics work harder than their job prescriptions require
and put much more effort into their jobs than is expected
by the people with whom or for whom they work, and in
doing so they neglect their life outside the job
Used two scales: the Drive subscale
from the Spence and Robbins
Workaholism Battery and an eight-
item shortened version of the WART
Sussman
(2012: 7)
Feeling driven beyond the stated demands of the job
to attempt to obtain an appetitive effect, a sense of
lack of control over working, and suffering negative
consequences as a result
N/A (theoretical piece)
Snir and Harpaz
(2012: 236)
A subtype of heavy work investment (i.e., heavy
investment of both time and effort in work) that stems
not from external predictors or from a passion for work,
but from an addiction to work
N/A (theoretical piece)
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Clark et al. / Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism 5
(Scott et al., 1997; Snir & Harpaz, 2012), most researchers would agree that solely using
work hours to represent workaholism would be misleading and does not take into account the
reasons workaholics tend to work long hours (Ng et al., 2007; Schaufeli, Taris, & Bakker,
2008). Given they tend to work longer and harder than others, workaholics may often miss
family events, work evenings or weekends, and consistently bring work home with them.
They also tend to blur the lines between work and nonwork by choosing recreational activi-
ties that advance or complement their work (Bonebright, Clay, & Ankenmann, 2000; Ng
et al., 2007). This excessive work involvement has been said to continue even in the face of
negative consequences, such as marital or health problems (Ng et al., 2007; Sussman, 2012).
Based on these areas of commonality, we define workaholism as an addiction to work that
involves feeling compelled or driven to work because of internal pressures, having persistent
and frequent thoughts about work when not working, and working beyond what is reasonably
expected (as established by the requirements of the job or basic economic needs) despite
potential negative consequences. Each of these aspects of workaholism needs to be taken into
consideration when measuring one’s workaholic behavior (for example, measuring only
excessive time spent at work does not provide any definitive information on whether an indi-
vidual is a workaholic—other factors, such as motives behind working and thoughts associ-
ated with working, also need to be considered). Our definition integrates the main areas of
consensus observed in our review of prior workaholism definitions, and is in line with many
prior definitions (e.g., Scott et al., 1997). In addition, this definition is also generally in line
with the lay perception of workaholism. Specifically, using a qualitative approach, McMillan
and O’Driscoll (2006) asked 132 individuals to describe someone who is a workaholic. A
content analysis revealed that the majority of individuals expressed statements about exces-
sive time spent working or thinking about work (39%) and having an obsessive personal style
that involves being unable to stop working (22%), characteristics that are central to our defi-
nition of workaholism. Noticeably absent in our definition is a work-related affective com-
ponent (cf. Ng et al., 2007); this is a critical point to which we turn next.
Areas of Disagreement
Based on our review of the workaholism literature, it is clear that there are very divergent
opinions regarding the affective experiences of workaholics. Most researchers are in agree-
ment regarding the emotions experienced by workaholics when they are not working (i.e.,
anxiety, guilt), which likely stem from the internal compulsion that is driving their worka-
holic behavior (Morris & Charney, 1983; Ng et al., 2007; Spence & Robbins, 1992). However,
there is considerably less consensus over the emotional experiences of workaholics while at
work. Some have proposed that having low work enjoyment is a characteristic of a true
workaholic (e.g., Aziz & Zickar, 2006; Spence & Robbins, 1992). Spence and Robbins
(1992), who developed one of the most commonly used measures of workaholism, clearly
specified that “true” workaholics are highly work involved and driven, but low in work
enjoyment. On the other hand, some researchers have stated that one characteristic of a true
workaholic is that he or she greatly enjoys the act of working (e.g., Baruch, 2011; Ng et al.,
2007).1 Therefore, according to these researchers, the experience of positive emotions (spe-
cifically, work enjoyment) while working is an important component of workaholism.
Sussman (2012: 6) describes the affective experiences of workaholics in terms of a “high” or
“rush” experienced from working, where workaholics may experience a greater rush from
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6 Journal of Management / Month 201X
working than nonworkaholics. According to Sussman, a workaholic may not necessarily
enjoy his or her work, but may still experience fleeting moments of an addictive rush (e.g.,
after getting paid or when starting a new work assignment).
In his review of the literature, Mudrack (2006: 109) stated that “any study that assesses
workaholism with a scale designed to measure work enjoyment has seemingly not assessed
workaholism at all.” Mudrack, and others (e.g., Schaufeli, Taris, & Bakker, 2008), have
argued that work enjoyment, whether high or low, should not be considered a defining fea-
ture of workaholism. Because of the debate surrounding the relationship among workahol-
ism, work enjoyment, and affect/emotions, and also in line with Mudrack (2006) and
Schaufeli, Taris, and Bakker (2008), we have chosen not to include a work-related affective
dimension to our conceptualization and operationalization of the construct. Instead,
we examine these constructs as correlates of workaholism in an effort to further explicate the
nomological network of workaholism.
We would like to briefly expand our discussion of the role of external and contextual pres-
sures on workaholism. As mentioned earlier, workaholism can be conceptualized as an inter-
nal compulsion to work, which stems from an internal pressure or feeling that one “ought” to
be working, rather than because of external drivers such as organizational or financial
requirements. Nonetheless, this idea has not been universally accepted in the literature. For
example, Buelens and Poelmans (2004) proposed a subtype of workaholic called the “reluc-
tant hard worker,” who works long hours because of external pressures and who would
strongly prefer to work less. According to these authors, the reluctant hard worker would be
high in work involvement and low on drive and work enjoyment (subscales of the Spence
and Robbins Workaholism Battery). Given that feeling driven to work because of internal
pressures is a core aspect of our definition of workaholism, we do not see this particular
subtype of workers as workaholics. The question of whether external pressures (e.g., organi-
zational cultures or requirements) can foster employee workaholism has been discussed in
the literature (Scott et al., 1997), but has yet to be adequately examined empirically. Part of
the difficulty stems from the lack of longitudinal research, as cross-sectional research can
establish only relationships between workaholism and various external pressures (e.g., job
demands, workaholic organizational cultures), but not necessarily whether one caused the
other. For example, it is well known that organizations attract, select, and retain certain types
of individuals (Schneider, 1989). Thus, workaholics are more likely to be attracted to organi-
zations that complement and value their workaholic behaviors, and because of this fit, the
organization is in turn more likely to select and retain these individuals. Therefore, workahol-
ics may self-report that they are heavily involved with work because they have a great deal
of external demands, but it is entirely possible that they may have chosen that profession/job
for that precise reason. In addition, once an individual is working in an environment that
embraces, rather than condones, workaholic behaviors, it is likely that the environment will
serve as a behavioral reinforcement (Ng et al., 2007) and the workaholic behavior is likely to
increase.
Correlates of Workaholism
Using our proposed definition as our guide, we expect that workaholism is positively
related to constructs reflecting obsessive or compulsive behavior (e.g., perfectionism), and is
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Clark et al. / Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism 7
generally related to negative outcomes for the individual, both at work (e.g., job stress) and
home (e.g., family relationships, work–family conflict). Many other relationships (e.g., the
relationship between workaholism and other personality traits such as the Big Five; the rela-
tionship between workaholism and enjoyment of work, job satisfaction, and performance)
are examined in an exploratory manner, given the divergent research and theory regarding
these relationships. Finally, to address some of the concerns regarding the affective nature of
workaholism, one of the key goals of this meta-analysis is to gather empirical evidence
regarding the affective correlates of workaholism (e.g., positive and negative affect, work
enjoyment).
To further understand the nomological network of workaholism, we examine a variety of
correlates of workaholism (see Figure 1 for a summary of all variables examined). In total,
three broad categories of correlates are examined: demographic characteristics, dispositional
variables, and work domain variables. The research in each of these three areas is reviewed
below.
Demographic Characteristics
Several demographic characteristics are examined in relation to workaholism. Snir and
Harpaz (2012) asserted that the two most relevant background predictors of heavy work
investment (a broader concept incorporating workaholism) are gender and parental status.
Indeed, in a cross-national study, Snir and Harpaz (2006) found that men were more likely to
be workaholics than women. Sex role theory (Pleck, 1977) and cultural schemas of work and
family devotion (Blair-Loy, 2003), which suggest that it is still more socially acceptable (and
expected) for men to be more invested in work and women to be more invested in family, are
factors that could partially explain any gender differences in workaholism. Marital status,
parental status, and number of children are also examined. On the one hand, to the extent that
workaholic behavior is fostered by external pressures (e.g., financial needs associated with
caring for multiple dependents), there should be a positive relationship between these demo-
graphic characteristics and workaholism. On the other hand, if workaholics are driven to
work for other motives (e.g., guilt, ego enhancement), these relationships should be nonsig-
nificant. Snir and colleagues (Snir & Harpaz, 2004; Snir & Zohar, 2008) found no relation-
ship between workaholism (as operationalized as total work hours) and financial need
(operationalized as the number of dependents supported). However, given that workaholism
was assessed as total work hours, further examination of these relationships using a broader
conceptualization of workaholism is needed. Educational status is also examined, as research
has found positive relationships between education status and working longer hours (Ng &
Feldman, 2008). Overall, we hypothesize that men are more likely to be workaholics than
women, and that workaholism is positively related to education level. However, because
workaholics are driven to work by nonfinancial needs, we do not anticipate any relationships
between workaholism and marital status, parental status, and number of children.
Dispositional Variables
Many researchers have examined the relationship between workaholism and various
achievement-related personality traits such as perfectionism and Type A personality (Ng et al.,
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8 Journal of Management / Month 201X
2007). These achievement-related traits share many common qualities with workaholism,
such as high levels of perseverance (Pollak, 1979) and a tendency to be overly self-critical
(Dunkley, Zuroff, & Blankstein, 2003). Other dispositional variables that have been exam-
ined in relation to workaholism include affect (both trait and state), the Big Five personality
factors, and self-esteem/self-efficacy.
Perfectionism. Perfectionists tend to have high standards for themselves, perceive a large
discrepancy between their current performance level and performance expectations, and have
a high preference for order (Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, & Ashby, 2001). Researchers have
Figure 1
Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism Examined in the Present Study
Demographic Characteristics
Age
Educational Level
Gender
Marital Status
Number of Children
Parental Status
Dispositional Variables
Perfectionism
Nondelegation
Type APersonality
Trait Negative Affect
Trait Positive Affect
State Negative Affect
State Positive Affect
The Big Five
Extraversion
Agreeableness
Conscientiousness
Neuroticism
Openness
Self-Esteem & Self-Efficacy
Need for Autonomy
Work Domain
Tenure
Salary
Managerial Status
Job Demands
Work Role Overload
Work Role Ambiguity
Work Role Conflict
Job Resources
Job Control
Supervisor Support
Work Involvement
Hours Worked
Overtime
Organizational Commitment
Time Commitment to Job
Job Involvement/Centrality
Work Engagement Overall
Absorption
Vigor
Dedication
Work Enjoyment
Workaholism
Work Outcomes
Job Satisfaction
Job Stress
CWBs
Performance
Career Prospects
Family Outcomes
Family Satisfaction/Functioning
Marital Disaffection
Relationship Satisfaction
Work-Life Conflict
Individual Outcomes
Life Satisfaction
Burnout Overall
Emotional Exhaustion
Cynicism
Depersonalization
Professional Efficacy
Physical Health
Emotional/Mental Health
Note: CWBs = counterproductive work behaviors. A positive sign (+) indicates a significant positive relationship
with workaholism was found and a negative sign (-) indicates a significant negative relationship with workaholism
was found.
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Clark et al. / Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism 9
distinguished between adaptive aspects of perfectionism (having high standards for oneself)
and maladaptive aspects of perfectionism (perceiving a large gap between one’s current per-
formance and performance expectations; Rice, Ashby, & Slaney, 2007). While it is possible
that workaholism may be more closely related to the maladaptive aspects of perfectionism
than the adaptive aspects, in the present study we examined only the overall relationship
between these two constructs because only one known study (Clark, Lelchook, & Taylor,
2010) has examined the relationship between specific perfectionism dimensions and worka-
holism. If perfectionists have high standards for themselves and perceive their current per-
formance far from their ideal performance, it is likely they will spend more time and effort at
work than others who do not hold these perfectionist tendencies. Nondelegation, or a person’s
inability (or unwillingness) to delegate tasks to others, is also associated with perfectionism
(Spence & Robbins, 1992). Thus, we also examine nondelegation in addition to perfection-
ism in the present study, and we expect it to be related to workaholism in a similar manner.
Type A personality. Type A personality is characterized by aggressiveness, competi-
tiveness, ambition, impatience, and achievement striving (Bluen, Barling, & Burns, 1990;
Edwards & Baglioni, 1991). Because of these tendencies to be competitive and ambitious, it
is not surprising that researchers have proposed that Type A personality and workaholism are
closely related (e.g., Machlowitz, 1980; Schaef & Fassel, 1988). Indeed, prior studies have
found positive correlations between the two (e.g., McMillan, 2000). Individuals who are
ambitious and achievement striving are more likely to engage in workaholic behaviors such
as working long hours and constantly thinking about work.
Positive and negative affect. Another relevant dispositional variable is affectivity. As
discussed earlier, there is debate over the relationship between workaholism and affect/
emotions. Trait negative affect (NA) has been conceptualized as the general tendency to feel
anxious, upset, and guilty. Because individuals high in NA have a tendency to feel high levels
of guilt and anxiety, they may be more likely to constantly worry about their work and feel
guilty and anxious when not working, which are characteristics of workaholism (Ng et al.,
2007; Scott et al., 1997). In contrast, trait positive affect (PA) has been conceptualized as the
tendency to feel happy, excited, and energetic. As noted earlier, some scholars have proposed
that workaholics likely experience enjoyment and pleasure from working (Baruch, 2011;
Ng et al., 2007). According to this perspective, workaholism would likely be positively
related to PA. Beyond examining trait levels of NA and PA, different relationships may
exist between workaholism and state levels of NA and PA (i.e., feelings “in the moment” of
working). Snir and Harpaz (2012) discuss the relationship between workaholism and state
affect, proposing that workaholics experience both positive (e.g., pleasure) and negative
(e.g., frustration) activated mood states in response to work events. Interestingly, Bak-
ker, Demerouti, Oerlemans, and Sonnentag (2013), using a day reconstruction method (a
methodology that shares features of a daily diary study but utilizes a format in which par-
ticipants recount activities and experiences of the prior day), found that workaholics were
less happy at the end of the day when they spent evening time on work-related activities.
In the present study, the relationships between workaholism and both trait and state NA
and PA are examined.
The Big Five. A few studies have examined the relationship between workaholism and the
Big Five personality traits (i.e., neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to
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10 Journal of Management / Month 201X
experience, and agreeableness). Given that conscientiousness is characterized by persistence
and achievement-orientation (Barrick & Mount, 1991), this trait shares common character-
istics with workaholism. However, research has generally not found a relationship between
these two variables (Burke, Matthiesen, & Pallesen, 2006a; Clark et al., 2010). Neuroticism,
or a tendency to show poor emotional adjustment and experience greater stress and anxiety
(Judge & Ilies, 2002), may be related to workaholism in the fact that these individuals may
feel more anxiety about their work, driving them to work more compulsively than their non-
neurotic peers. Previous research has shown positive relationships between neuroticism and
feeling driven to work (Clark et al., 2010). The remainder of the Big Five factors (agreeable-
ness, extraversion, and openness to experience) have generally not been found to relate to
workaholism (Burke et al., 2006a; Clark et al., 2010), but are nonetheless examined in the
present study to provide an examination of the full Big Five personality model.
Self-esteem and self-efficacy. Self-esteem (the overall value that someone places on one-
self as a person; Judge & Bono, 2001) and self-efficacy (the estimate of one’s ability to cope,
perform, and be successful; Judge & Bono, 2001) both may influence one’s thoughts and
behaviors pertaining to working. Several scholars have proposed that self-esteem should be
negatively related to workaholism. According to this rationale, individuals with low self-
esteem may be more likely to become workaholics in an effort to assert control and be suc-
cessful in an important part of their life (as compared to other nonwork activities that are
less controllable and thus leaving them more susceptible to social rejections and other fail-
ures; Ng et al., 2007). In addition, they may work excessively to avoid ego deficits (e.g.,
guilt). Individuals having high self-esteem already perceive themselves as having worth, and
consequently they do not have a need to maintain their self-worth through excessive work
behaviors (Graves et al., 2012). On the other hand, it is possible that individuals with very
high opinions of themselves may set extremely difficult performance expectations for them-
selves, which could in turn result in excessive work behaviors. As the findings pertaining
to the relationship between self-esteem/self-efficacy and workaholism are somewhat mixed
(e.g., Burke et al., 2006a; Graves et al., 2012), it is important to examine these relationships
meta-analytically.
Need for autonomy. The relationship between need for autonomy (a desire to actively
determine one’s own behavior) and workaholism may be explained by self-determination
theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985). Need for autonomy is one of several innate psychological needs
that drive behavior. If individuals are high in need for autonomy they may be driven to work
excessively to fill basic needs to remain in control over their work domain. Thus, we expect
a positive relationship between need for autonomy and workaholism.
Work Domain Variables
Several work domain variables are also examined. The first set of variables pertains to
work history (i.e., tenure, salary, and managerial status). The second set of work domain
variables includes several work characteristics that we have categorized into either job
demands (work role overload, work role ambiguity, and work role conflict) or job resources
(job control and supervisor support). The third set of work domain variables encompasses
several constructs that may share conceptual space when one considers the broad
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Clark et al. / Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism 11
nomological network of workaholism. This includes many constructs relating to one’s work
involvement (e.g., time commitment to work, hours worked, overtime, organizational com-
mitment, and job involvement/centrality), work engagement (and its dimensions of absorp-
tion, vigor, and dedication), and work enjoyment.
Work history. This category consists of tenure, salary, and managerial status. These vari-
ables may be related to workaholism in that employees working in more senior positions
(which tend to involve greater tenure, higher salary, and a more demanding supervisory role)
may have a greater number of job demands that require individuals to devote a great deal of
time and energy to their work.
Work characteristics. Work characteristic variables have been grouped based on
the job demands–resources model (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007, 2008), which pos-
its that work characteristics can be divided into job demands and job resources. Job
demands are the physical, psychological, social, or organizational aspects of the job
that require sustained effort (either physical or psychological), and job resources
are the physical, psychological, social, or organizational aspects of the job that
reduce job demands or stimulate personal growth (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007).
We examined three types of job demands in the present study: (a) work role over-
load, where individuals perceive they have too many work role tasks and not enough
time to do them; (b) work role ambiguity, where there is a perceived lack of neces-
sary information about the duties or responsibilities in a particular work role; and
(c) work role conflict, or the extent to which a person experiences incompatible work
role pressures (Michel, Kotrba, Mitchelson, Clark, & Baltes, 2011). Workaholics have a
tendency to make their work more difficult and complicated than necessary (Schaufeli,
Bakker, van der Heijden, & Prins, 2009b), are reluctant to delegate work (Burke, 2001b),
and make unnecessary attempts to create more work for themselves (Machlowitz, 1980).
Workaholics may also be more attracted to jobs with high levels of job demands (Snir &
Harpaz, 2012). Thus, we hypothesize a positive relationship between job demands (role
overload, role ambiguity, and role conflict) and workaholism. Job resources examined
include job control and supervisor support, both of which have not been examined very
frequently in relation to workaholism. Schaufeli, Bakker, van der Heijden, and Prins
(2009a: 254) proposed and found support for the notion that workaholics are less likely
to rely on job resources such as social support and job control than their nonworkaholic
counterparts because they tend to be one-sided, rigid, and determined to “go their own
way.” Thus, we expect a negative relationship between job resources and workaholism.
Work involvement. Working harder and longer than others is a critical part of our con-
ceptualization of workaholism. Thus, we examine several variables relating to one’s actual
involvement with work: hours worked, time commitment to one’s job, and overtime. In addi-
tion, two variables relating to one’s attitudes toward one’s work, organizational commitment
and job involvement/centrality (i.e., how important work is to one’s identity), are examined.
As Scott and colleagues (1997) point out, workaholic behavior should not be considered a
case of extreme commitment to the organization. Similarly, there is limited evidence of a
positive relationship between workaholism and job involvement/centrality (Harpaz & Snir,
2003). Overall, we expect workaholism to have a moderately high positive correlation with
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12 Journal of Management / Month 201X
actual involvement with work, and smaller positive correlations with the attitudinal variables
of organizational commitment and involvement/centrality.
Work enjoyment. As mentioned earlier, there has been a great deal of debate about the
relationship between workaholism and work enjoyment. While some have conceptualized
workaholics as those with low work enjoyment (Spence & Robbins, 1992), others claim that
workaholics actually experience a good deal of work enjoyment (Ng et al., 2007). Because
existing theory and research do not offer a clear picture regarding the relationship that may
exist between workaholism and work enjoyment, this relationship is examined in an explor-
atory manner.
Work engagement. The relationship between workaholism and work engagement
has been examined extensively (e.g., Schaufeli, Taris, & van Rhenen, 2008; van Wijhe,
Peeters, Schaufeli, & van den Hout, 2011). Work engagement can be defined as a posi-
tive and fulfilling work-related state of mind (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004; Schaufeli, Taris,
& van Rhenen, 2008) characterized by absorption (being fully engrossed in one’s work),
vigor (having high levels of energy and mental residence while working), and dedication
(feeling a sense of significance, enthusiasm, pride, and inspiration toward one’s work).
Schaufeli, Taris, and van Rhenen (2008) presented fairly convincing evidence that the
constructs of workaholism and work engagement are distinct from one another, and they
uniquely relate to various outcomes. Furthermore, Schaufeli et al. (2001) conducted inter-
views of individuals who scored high on assessments of work engagement, and found that
they were not addicted to work. However, empirical findings on the relationship between
these two constructs are mixed. Researchers have found a positive relationship (e.g., Gor-
gievski, Bakker, & Schaufeli, 2010), a negative relationship (e.g., Schaufeli, Shimazu, &
Taris, 2009), as well as no relationship (e.g., Schaufeli, Taris, & van Rhenen, 2008; van
Beek, Taris, & Schaufeli, 2011) between the two variables. Recently, researchers have
proposed that different motives underlie these constructs (Graves et al., 2012; Schaufeli,
Shimazu, & Taris, 2009), where work engagement is primarily motivated by intrinsic moti-
vation (i.e., they work because, to them, work is fun), while workaholism is primarily
motivated by introjected motivation (i.e., they work because of an internal compulsion
to work). Though there are emerging theoretical explanations for conceptual distinctions
between workaholism and work engagement, given the mixed empirical evidence we
examine the relationship between workaholism and work engagement (and its specific
dimensions of absorption, vigor, and dedication) in an exploratory manner.
Outcomes of Workaholism
Work-Related Outcomes
Job satisfaction. Prior research is mixed regarding the relationship between workahol-
ism and job satisfaction. For example, Schaufeli, Taris, and van Rhenen (2008) found that
workaholism was positively related to job satisfaction and organizational commitment. In
their theoretical model, Ng and colleagues (2007) propose a positive relationship between
workaholism and job satisfaction, based on the idea that if workaholics feel guilty when not
working, they would logically feel more satisfied while at work. On the other hand, Burke
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(2001a) found that the workaholism components of driven to work, work involvement, and
(low) work enjoyment were the strongest predictors of an individual’s current level of job
dissatisfaction. A negative relationship with job satisfaction may be explained by self-deter-
mination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Namely, since workaholics may be motivated to work
based on internal “shoulds” (a form of introjected motivation) rather than intrinsic motiva-
tion, they may not experience true satisfaction in their work, as this largely stems from freely
pursuing goals that are aligned with one’s deep values, goals, and interests (Graves et al.,
2012). Overall, a meta-analytic examination of the relationship between workaholism and
job satisfaction will help answer some of these questions.
Job stress. If workaholics are driven to work by feelings of guilt and anxiety and an inter-
nal pressure or drive to work, coupled with unreasonably high standards set for themselves
(Porter, 1996), they are also likely to experience a great deal of job stress. Indeed, the empiri-
cal literature suggests that workaholics tend to experience higher levels of job stress due to
the pressures they put on themselves. For example, Spence and Robbins (1992) found that
workaholics (as compared to work enthusiasts—who experience joy in their work) reported
higher levels of job stress. The same results were obtained from a sample of Japanese male
workers (Kanai et al., 1996). Thus, we expect a positive relationship between workaholism
and job stress.
Counterproductive work behavior. Researchers have posited that workaholics tend
to have more negative workplace interactions with coworkers (e.g., Balducci, Cecchin,
Fraccaroli, & Schaufeli, 2012; Ng et al., 2007). For example, they may have more dis-
trust of coworkers to the extent they have perfectionist tendencies and unrealistic stan-
dards. In addition, workaholic behaviors can foster competition with coworkers (Porter,
1996), which can lead to increased negative interactions and an increased tendency to
engage in acts of counterproductive work behavior (CWB) particularly toward those
coworkers seen as competition. Thus, we expect that workaholism will be positively
related to CWB.
Performance and career prospects. Generally, the research suggests that workaholics
will for the most part be productive and experience career success at their jobs, because
their longer hours are a human capital investment often rewarded in the labor market
(Becker, 1964; Ng et al., 2007). However, this is not without some debate—some research-
ers have suggested that workaholics often create busy work for themselves and make sim-
ple projects more complicated because they have a need to work continuously (Fassel,
1990; Scott et al., 1997). Furthermore, Spence and Robbins (1992) pointed out that a high
quantity of work may be associated with a lower quality of work. If this were the case,
employees would most likely not receive more promotions and salary increases, although
they may have higher productivity. Burke (1999a) found that workaholics reported higher
levels of career prospects, but in another study he found the opposite relationship to be the
case (Burke & MacDermid, 1999). In addition, if workaholics are having interpersonal
problems with other coworkers, this may reflect negatively on performance evaluations.
Thus, the relationship between workaholism and performance is examined in an explor-
atory manner.
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14 Journal of Management / Month 201X
Family Outcomes
Several variables relating to family functioning are examined in the present study: family
satisfaction and family functioning, marital disaffection (the extent of emotional estrange-
ment in one’s marriage), relationship satisfaction, and work–life conflict. Much of the initial
research on how workaholic behavior affected one’s family stemmed from case studies of
patients in the clinical and counseling literature. In recent years, however, there has been
increased attention toward understanding the effects of workaholic behavior on one’s family
and other life roles. Empirical evidence suggests that workaholism is related to poor family
relationships, marital dissatisfaction and conflict, and dysfunction in the family (Robinson &
Post, 1995). This is not surprising considering that workaholics spend an exorbitant amount
of time in the office at the expense of their family obligations (Schaufeli, Taris, & van
Rhenen, 2008; Scott et al., 1997). Overall, we expect that workaholics experience poor fam-
ily functioning and greater work–life conflict.
Individual Outcomes
The present study examines several individual outcomes of workaholism—life satisfac-
tion, emotional/mental health, burnout, and physical health. In general, we expect workahol-
ism to be positively related to burnout and negatively related to life satisfaction, emotional
and mental health, and physical health.
Life satisfaction. Given that workaholics are often consumed with feelings of guilt and anxiety
when they are not working, it is logical that workaholics would experience less satisfaction with
their lives outside of work. Indeed, Aziz and Zickar (2006) found that workaholics reported lower
life satisfaction. In addition, in a study of employees working in a technology firm, Bonebright
et al. (2000) found that employees who were highly driven and work involved had lower life sat-
isfaction. Thus, we expect workaholics to be less satisfied with their lives in general.
Burnout. The relationship between workaholism and burnout has been extensively studied
in the literature, and many studies have found that workaholism is positively related to burn-
out (e.g., Nagy & Davis, 1985). This makes sense given that workaholics often work longer
than others, with little opportunity to engage in leisure activities which may serve as crucial
means of rest and recovery (Bakker et al., 2013; Ng et al., 2007). In addition, workaholics
are not really able to ever “shut work off”—instead, they are constantly thinking about and
worrying about work, even when they are not actually at work (Robinson, 1999; Scott et
al., 1997). Indeed, work by Sonnentag and colleagues (e.g., Sonnentag, Mojza, Binnewies,
& Scholl, 2008) suggests that individuals need periods of recovery to perform effectively
when they return to work. Applying this to the study of workaholism, when individuals are
excessively involved in work and allow themselves little to no breaks (physical or mental),
they are likely to experience burnout because they do not allow themselves adequate time
to recover from their excessive work effort. Both overall burnout and the specific facets of
emotional exhaustion, cynicism, depersonalization, and professional efficacy are examined.
Emotional/mental and physical health. In the present study we examine both emotional/
mental health (which includes the related constructs of [lack of] psychological strain and
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Clark et al. / Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism 15
psychological distress, emotional well-being, and mental health) and physical health (which
includes [lack of] health complaints and psychosomatic symptoms). Using a similar argu-
ment as above, if individuals are constantly experiencing feelings of guilt and anxiety, expe-
rience high internal pressure to work, and have few avenues for escape and recovery, then
they are likely to experience poorer emotional and mental health. In addition, workaholism
has been theorized to have both direct (through lack of leisure and exercise) and indirect
(through increased smoking, decreased sleep, weight gain, etc.) linkages with physical health
outcomes (Ng et al., 2007). Indeed, several studies have found a link between workaholism
and health issues (e.g., Buelens & Poelmans, 2004; Chamberlin, 2001). Deterioration of
physical health due to overworking has become such a problem in Japan that the term karo-
shi, which refers to death from overwork, was created (Robinson, 2000b; Snir & Harpaz,
2006). Ultimately, we hypothesize that workaholism is related to poorer emotional/mental
and physical health outcomes.
Moderators
Two potential moderators are examined to determine if they explain additional variance in
the workaholism—correlate/outcome relationships. We examine one categorical moderator
(publication status) and one continuous moderator (gender). Publication status (unpublished
or published) is examined to examine the possibility that publication bias (Rosenthal, 1979)
influences our results. Gender is also examined as a possible moderator in the present study.
Based on gender role socialization and traditional gender roles, men and women may view
their obligations toward their work and family roles differently (Eagly, 1987; Pleck, 1993).
Relationships between workaholism and other constructs (e.g., performance, work–family
conflict, and health outcomes) may be influenced by prevailing societal norms that men
should be more invested in work and women should be more invested in family (Blair-Loy,
2003). For example, women workaholics may experience greater negative consequences
than men workaholics, as their excessive involvement with work may conflict with both self
and societal expectations about traditional gender roles and what is acceptable in terms of
time and effort devoted to their work role (versus their family role).
Method
Literature Search
A threefold approach was used to locate relevant articles. First, computer-based literature
searches were conducted through July 2013 using ABI/INFORM and Academic Search
Premier, a meta-database that allows one to simultaneously search in multiple databases such
as PsycINFO and Business Source Premier. Search terms included workaholism, work addic-
tion, workaholic, work addict, working excessively, and working compulsively, as well as terms
associated with the most commonly used workaholism scales (e.g., Spence and Robbins, WART,
WARDT, DUWAS). Second, the programs for the Society for Industrial and Organizational
Psychology and Academy of Management conferences were searched from 2000 to 2011, and
relevant conference papers were requested from the authors. Third, the reference sections of
several workaholism review articles (Kanai & Wakabayashi, 2004; McMillan, O’Driscoll,
Marsh, & Brady, 2001; Ng et al., 2007; Piotrowski & Vodanovich, 2006) were searched.
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16 Journal of Management / Month 201X
Inclusion Criteria and Coding Procedures
Studies were included if they reported a correlation (or enough information to calculate a cor-
relation coefficient) between workaholism and one of the variables of interest. Studies that exam-
ined the relationship between various types of workaholics and a particular variable were
excluded, as these workaholic types were derived from different combinations of scores on mul-
tiple scales and workaholic types varied widely across studies. We also excluded student samples
(e.g., Bovornusvakook, Vodanovich, & Ariyabuddhiphongs, 2011; Burke, 2002) and samples of
individuals with clinical disorders (e.g., Di Nicola et al., 2010). We used the procedures outlined
by Wood (2008) to detect duplicate study effects. In the event two studies reported the same rela-
tionships from the same sample, we coded the study with the larger sample size, and included
unique effect sizes only from the smaller sample study. When a doctoral dissertation and a pub-
lished study reported the same data, we coded the published study.2 In a few cases, a study reported
the results of several primary studies (e.g., Kanai & Wakabayashi, 2004; McMillan et al., 2001).
In these cases, we attempted to locate the primary studies referenced in these articles. If accessi-
ble, the primary studies were coded; if we were unable to locate the primary study, we coded the
data based on the secondary source. This procedure resulted in a total of 89 articles (68 published
and 21 unpublished) containing 97 independent samples.
When a study provided correlations between multiple dimensions of workaholism and an
outcome, or between workaholism and multiple dimensions of a correlate/outcome (e.g.,
multiple dimensions of work engagement, different aspects of physical health), we used
composite formulas (Ghiselli, Campbell, & Zedeck, 1981: 163-164) to estimate what the
correlation would be if those multiple dimensions were combined into a composite. If com-
posite formulas could not be used, we used the mean sample-size-weighted correlation. If a
study assessed the same relationships (with the same sample) at different time points (e.g.,
Burke, 2001a), correlations were averaged together to ensure the assumption of independent
samples (Hunter & Schmidt, 2004) was not violated. To examine correlations between work-
aholism and overall burnout and overall engagement, as well as their respective facets, we
included the individual facet correlations in addition to creating composites of these facets to
create an overall composite. Thus, the overall burnout and overall work engagement correla-
tions should not be considered independent from the correlations with the specific facets. The
overall burnout composite consisted of the following facets: emotional exhaustion, cynicism,
depersonalization, and professional efficacy (reverse coded). The overall work engagement
composite consisted of the following facets: absorption, vigor, and dedication.
Consistent with other meta-analyses (e.g., Ford, Heinen, & Langkamer, 2007), all peer-
reviewed journal articles were coded by either a two- or a three-person team. All coders went
through an iterative training process led by the first author, where each coder was given
between three and five articles at a time to independently code, and then agreement between
all coders was calculated and the team met with the first author to review the articles. The
training continued until the team consistently reached agreement of 95% or more. Following
the training, each of the remaining peer-reviewed articles was independently coded by two
coders, and any disagreements were resolved by the first author. All dissertations were inde-
pendently coded by either the first or fourth author.
Workaholism. We included all measures of workaholism that reflected our conceptualiza-
tion of workaholism as an addiction involving a compulsion to work, persistent thoughts
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Clark et al. / Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism 17
about work, and excessive (non-necessary) involvement in work. For this reason, studies
that operationalized workaholism as only work hours were excluded (see Ng & Feldman,
2008, for a meta-analysis of correlates of hours worked). Almost always (91% of the time),
workaholism was assessed with one of three scales: (a) the Spence and Robbins (1992)
Workaholism Battery, (b) the WART (Robinson, 1989), or (c) the DUWAS (Schaufeli,
Shimazu, & Taris, 2009). The Spence and Robbins (1992) Workaholism Battery consists of
three independent dimensions: driven, work involvement, and work enjoyment, where “true”
workaholics are high on driven and work involvement, and low in work enjoyment. The
two dimensions of driven and work involvement clearly align with our conceptualization of
workaholism, and were thus combined into a composite whenever possible (some studies did
not measure work involvement, so in these cases only the driven subscale was used as our
measure of workaholism).3 Work enjoyment was excluded from the workaholism composite,
because (a) it does not align with our conceptualization of workaholism and (b) given the
debate over the affective dimension of workaholism, a key goal of the present study was to
examine how workaholism is related to affective constructs such as work enjoyment. The
WART consists of several dimensions (i.e., compulsive tendencies, control, impaired com-
munication and self-absorption, inability to delegate, and self-worth; Flowers & Robinson,
2002). If studies reported correlations separately for each of these dimensions, we combined
them into a composite. Several studies only assessed the compulsive tendencies subscale of
the WART; in these cases, the compulsive tendencies subscale was used as our measure of
workaholism. The DUWAS consists of two dimensions—working excessively (assessed via
the compulsive tendencies subscale of the WART) and working compulsively (assessed via
the driven subscale of the Workaholism Battery); if studies reported correlations separately
for each of these dimensions, we combined them into a composite.
Moderator coding. To examine gender, consistent with previous meta-analyses (e.g., Ng
et al., 2005) we used the percentage of women in the sample as a proxy. If a study reported
separate results for men and women, we coded it as two separate samples, with 0 and 100,
respectively, as the percentage of women in the sample. Studies were also coded as either
published (i.e., in a peer-reviewed journal) or not. It should be noted that we also attempted to
code for other useful moderators (e.g., average tenure of the sample, marital and parental sta-
tus, and job/occupation of the sample). However, not enough primary studies reported such
information to examine these other potential moderators. The location of data collection was
also coded, but the locations were too diverse across studies (workaholism has been studied
in 18 different countries) to allow for meaningful meta-analytic comparisons.
Meta-Analytic Calculations
We used the Hunter and Schmidt (2004) meta-analysis approach to calculate meta-ana-
lytic mean correlations, standard deviations, and percentage of variance due to sampling
error. Confidence intervals around mean correlations were calculated using formulas pro-
vided by Whitener (1990). Correlations were corrected for unreliability based on artifact
distributions from alpha values reported in the primary studies. In line with prior meta-anal-
yses (e.g., Berry, Ones, & Sackett, 2007; Cohen-Charash & Spector, 2001), meta-analytic
correlations between workaholism and one of the variables of interest were calculated only
if at least three independent samples examined a given relationship.
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18 Journal of Management / Month 201X
Moderator Analyses
Moderators of a given workaholism–correlate/outcome relationship were examined if (a)
less than 75% of the variability in the corrected correlations across studies was accounted for
and (b) there were enough samples to conduct a meaningful moderator analysis. For our
categorical moderator analysis, we followed the same decision rule mentioned earlier of
three independent samples per level of the moderator, and in line with other meta-analyses
(Michel et al., 2011) we examined our continuous moderator if there were at least 10 samples
for a given relationship. For categorical moderators, separate meta-analyses were conducted
for each level of the moderator, and support for moderation exists if the 95% confidence
intervals between two mean correlations do not overlap (Christian, Garza, & Slaughter,
2011). For our continuous moderator analyses (i.e., gender), we used the percentage of
women in a sample as an independent variable in the prediction of Fisher’s z-transformed
corrected correlation coefficients for the workaholism—correlate/outcome relationship using
weighted least-squares multiple regression. This method of testing for moderators in meta-
analyses has been found to be more robust and reliable than other methods (Steel &
Kammeyer-Mueller, 2002). Support for moderation exists if the percentage of women is a
significant predictor of the correlation coefficients.
Results
Table 2 summarizes the results for all correlates for workaholism, and Table 3 summarizes
the results for outcomes of workaholism. A summary of all significant relationships is also
presented in Figure 2. Relationships with workaholism were significant at the p < .05 level
when the 95% confidence interval did not include zero.
Correlates of Workaholism
Demographic characteristics. There were no significant relationships between the demo-
graphic characteristics and workaholism.
Dispositional variables. As expected, perfectionism, nondelegation, and Type A personal-
ity were all positively related to workaholism (ρ = .55, ρ = .41, and ρ = .43, respectively).
Both trait and state NA had a significant positive relationship with workaholism (ρ = .31 and
ρ = .32, respectively), but PA (trait and state) did not. Of the Big Five personality factors,
only extraversion was related to workaholism (ρ = .06). Contrary to predictions, workahol-
ism was not significantly related to self-esteem or need for autonomy.
Work domain variables. Work history variables of tenure and salary did not relate to
workaholism. Managerial status was positively related to workaholism (ρ = .14). Regarding
work characteristics, work role overload (ρ = .52) and work role conflict (ρ = .43) were posi-
tively related to workaholism, but contrary to expectations work role ambiguity was nega-
tively related to workaholism (ρ = –.18). Job control was negatively related to workaholism
(ρ = –.09), while supervisor support had an unexpected positive relationship with workahol-
ism (ρ = .06). The final set of work domain correlates includes several constructs relating
to work involvement, as well as work engagement and work enjoyment. As expected, hours
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Table 2
Results of the Meta-Analysis for Correlates of Workaholism
Variable
95% CI
CV10 CV90N k r SD r ρSD ρ % Variance Explained Lower Upper
Demographics
Age 6,847 27 –.04 .09 –.04 .07 46.76 –.078 .000 –.134 .056
Education level 1,466 8 –.02 .12 –.02 .11 35.52 –.124 .076 –.170 .122
Gender 6,023 23 .00 .01 .00 .08 39.13 –.046 .044 –.110 .108
Marital status 2,153 9 .00 .07 .00 .04 74.69 –.055 .053 –.054 .052
Number of children 585 5 .04 .11 .05 .07 68.64 –.062 .169 –.040 .147
Parental status 1,595 4 –.01 .04 –.01 .01 100.00 –.055 .027 –.014 –.014
Dispositional variables
Perfectionism 2,738 10 .46 .15 .55 .17 14.03 .436 .660 .336 .760
Nondelegation 2,343 7 .33 .10 .41 .11 25.43 .315 .504 .270 .549
Type A personality 1,506 6 .32 .11 .43 .12 33.04 .304 .548 .269 .583
Trait negative affect 2,037 5 .25 .11 .31 .12 17.84 .189 .431 .151 .469
Trait positive affect 1,450 4 –.02 .06 –.02 .04 73.90 –.095 .048 –.071 .024
State negative affect 773 3 .28 .11 .32 .11 26.63 .172 .471 .178 .464
State positive affect 858 4 –.11 .11 –.13 .10 35.89 –.257 .002 –.261 .007
Extraversion 1,647 4 .05 .04 .06 .00 100.00 .013 .118 .066 .066
Agreeableness 1,807 5 –.01 .12 –.02 .14 18.17 –.162 .124 –.206 .167
Conscientiousness 1,807 5 .13 .15 .16 .18 11.92 –.007 .331 –.067 .391
Neuroticism 1,647 4 .05 .26 .06 .31 3.59 –.248 .378 –.332 .462
Openness 1,647 4 .05 .07 .06 .07 42.83 –.033 .164 –.031 .161
Self-esteem and self-efficacy 1,613 6 .00 .13 .00 .13 23.35 –.129 .120 –.177 .168
Need for autonomy 1,214 3 –.11 .16 –.15 .19 9.96 –.374 .082 –.388 .095
Work domain
Tenure 1,636 9 –.03 .12 –.03 .11 36.10 –.124 .058 –.172 .107
Salary 466 4 .12 .16 .13 .15 32.90 –.046 .307 –.056 .317
Managerial status 1,114 3 .12 .04 .14 .00 100.00 .095 .185 .140 .140
(continued)
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Variable
95% CI
CV10 CV90N k r SD r ρSD ρ % Variance Explained Lower Upper
Job demands
Work role overload 7,472 15 .42 .09 .52 .10 29.11 .458 .577 .392 .643
Work role ambiguity 5,755 4 –.14 .15 –.18 .19 2.80 –.376 –.010 –.428 .063
Work role conflict 7,870 5 .33 .06 .43 .07 18.42 .359 .498 .337 .520
Job resources
Job control 4,668 7 –.06 .07 –.09 .07 36.52 –.161 –.021 –.186 .004
Supervisor support 1,851 5 .05 .05 .06 .00 100.00 .014 .115 .065 .065
Work involvement
Hours worked 18,299 20 .27 .13 .30 .13 6.38 .241 .364 .131 .474
Overtime 3,133 5 .25 .08 .27 .07 22.85 .196 .346 .176 .367
Organizational commitment 1,488 5 .17 .16 .20 .18 12.34 .034 .372 –.025 .431
Time commitment to job 2,352 7 .58 .10 .70 .11 15.51 .613 .797 .561 .849
Job involvement/central 4,181 12 .43 .08 .53 .08 41.66 .474 .590 .434 .631
Work engagement
Work engagement overall 20,021 15 .05 .09 .05 .10 8.66 .002 .109 –.072 .183
Absorption 15,616 8 .07 .10 .09 .12 4.78 .003 .177 –.065 .246
Vigor 16,653 12 –.01 .07 –.01 .07 13.63 –.062 .037 –.115 .090
Dedication 16,283 11 .03 .08 .03 .09 9.38 –.029 .091 –.090 .153
Work enjoyment 7,773 30 .23 .14 .28 .16 18.21 .223 .348 .085 .485
Note: N = number of participants; k = number of samples; r = sample-size-weighted mean observed validity; SD r = standard deviation of r; ρ = r corrected for unreliability;
bolded ρ represents significant corrected r; SD ρ = standard deviation of ρ; % variance = the percentage of variance in effect sizes that was accounted for by statistical
artifacts and sampling error; CI = confidence interval of ρ; CV10 and CV90 = 10% and 90% credibility values of ρ, respectively. Education level: higher scores = more
education. Gender: 1 = men, 2 = women. Marital status: 0 = not married, 1 = married. Parental status: 0 = not parents, 1 = parents. Managerial status: 0 = nonmanager,
1 = manager.
Table 2 (continued)
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Table 3
Results of the Meta-Analysis for Outcomes of Workaholism
Variable
95% CI
CV10 CV90N k r SD r ρSD ρ % Variance Explained Lower Upper
Work outcomes
Job satisfaction 8,831 23 –.08 .18 –.11 .21 8.10 –.197 –.014 –.378 .166
Job stress 3,364 15 .44 .12 .55 .12 27.04 .476 .626 .391 .711
CWBs 998 3 .19 .09 .27 .09 39.94 .129 .409 .148 .391
Performance 6,726 12 –.06 .15 –.07 .17 8.04 –.175 .028 –.291 .144
Career prospects 811 4 .07 .04 .12 .00 100.00 .053 .190 .122 .122
Family outcomes
Family satisfaction/functioning 1,438 6 –.3 .06 –.16 .00 100.00 –.221 –.108 –.165 –.165
Marital disaffection 921 3 .47 .07 .55 .05 70.14 .448 .645 .486 .607
Relationship satisfaction 757 6 –.04 .07 –.05 .00 100.00 –.118 .019 –.050 –.050
Work–life conflict 8,077 22 .38 .17 .47 .20 8.91 .382 .559 .215 .726
Individual outcomes
Life satisfaction 5,991 8 –.25 .09 –.32 .10 22.07 –.393 –.241 –.440 –.194
Burnout
Burnout overall 10,319 18 .33 .14 .40 .16 10.11 .313 .470 .188 .595
Emotional exhaustion 10,082 15 .39 .14 .42 .15 9.22 .387 .565 .265 .688
Cynicism 5,468 8 .24 .07 .29 .06 33.35 .236 .347 .209 .374
Depersonalization 2,342 3 .24 .17 .35 .23 6.39 .079 .629 .056 .652
Professional efficacy 4,374 6 –.03 .06 –.03 .05 41.33 –.089 .025 –.101 .037
Physical health 11,093 22 –.26 .10 –.33 .11 23.03 –.380 –.272 –.470 –.182
Emotional/mental health 5,917 18 –.32 .14 –.39 .15 15.75 –.465 –.309 –.583 –.191
Note: N = number of participants; k = number of samples; r = sample-size-weighted mean observed validity; SD r = standard deviation of r; ρ = r corrected for
unreliability; bolded ρ represents significant corrected r; SD ρ = standard deviation of ρ; % variance = the percentage of variance in effect sizes that was accounted for by
statistical artifacts and sampling error; CI = confidence interval of ρ; CV10 and CV90 = 10% and 90% credibility values of ρ, respectively; CWBs = counterproductive
work behaviors.
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22 Journal of Management / Month 201X
worked (ρ = .30), overtime (ρ = .27), organizational commitment (ρ = .20), time commit-
ment to job (ρ = .70), and job involvement/centrality (ρ = .53) were all positively related to
workaholism. Work engagement overall (ρ = .05) as well as the dimension of absorption
(ρ = .09) were both positively related to workaholism, though the work engagement facets of
vigor and dedication were not. Finally, work enjoyment was positively related to workahol-
ism (ρ = .28).
Outcomes of Workaholism
Work-related outcomes. Regarding work outcomes, workaholism and job satisfaction was
negatively related (ρ = –.11). As expected, higher scores on workaholism strongly related
to higher levels of job stress (ρ = .55). Workaholism was also positively related to CWBs
(ρ = .27) and career prospects (ρ = .12). Workaholism was not significantly related to overall
performance.
Family outcomes. As expected, workaholism was positively related to work–life conflict
(ρ = .47) and marital disaffection (ρ = .55) and negatively related to family satisfaction and
functioning (ρ = –.16). The relationship between workaholism and relationship satisfaction
was not significant.
Individual outcomes. As expected, workaholism was related to almost all negative
individual outcomes. Specifically, workaholism was positively related to overall burnout
Figure 2
Summary of Significant Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism
Dispositional Variables
Perfectionism (+)
Nondelegation (+)
Type A Personality (+)
Trait Negative Affect (+)
State Negative Affect (+)
Extraversion (+)
Work Domain
Managerial Status (+)
Job Demands
Work Role Overload (+)
Work Role Ambiguity (-)
Work Role Conflict (+)
Job Resources
Job Control (-)
Supervisor Support (+)
Work Involvement
Hours Worked (+)
Overtime(+)
Work Involvement (+)
Organizational Commitment (+)
Time Commitment to Job(+)
Job Involvement/Centrality(+)
Work Engagement Overall (+)
Absorption (+)
Work Enjoyment (+)
Workaholism
Work Outcomes
Job Satisfaction (-)
Job Stress (+)
CWBs (+)
Career Prospects (+)
Family Outcomes
Family Satisfaction/Functioning (-)
Marital Disaffection (+)
Work-Life Conflict (+)
Individual Outcomes
Life Satisfaction (-)
Burnout(+)
Emotional Exhaustion (+)
Cynicism (+)
Depersonalization(+)
Physical Health (-)
Emotional/Mental Health (-)
Note: CWBs = counterproductive work behaviors. A positive sign (+) indicates a significant positive relationship
with workaholism was found and a negative sign (-) indicates a significant negative relationship with workaholism
was found.
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Clark et al. / Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism 23
(ρ = .40), as well as burnout dimensions of emotional exhaustion (ρ = .42), cynicism
(ρ = .29), and depersonalization (ρ = .35). Workaholism was not related to the burnout
dimension of professional efficacy, however. Workaholism was negatively related to physi-
cal health (ρ = –.33), life satisfaction (ρ = –.32), and emotional/mental health (ρ = –.39).
Moderation Effects
Table 4 shows the results of our categorical moderator analysis of publication status. All
95% confidence intervals overlapped except work role overload, which had a stronger cor-
relation for published (ρ = .53) than unpublished (ρ = .38), and job satisfaction, which had a
significant negative correlation for published (ρ = –.12) but significant positive correlation
for unpublished (ρ = .06). We also examined the possible moderating effects of percentage of
women in the sample. As shown in Table 5, only two significant relationships were found.
Contrary to expectations, samples with higher proportions of women showed a weaker
negative relationship between workaholism and physical health outcomes (β = .48, p < .05,
F = 5.68). In addition, samples with higher proportions of women showed a more positive
relationship between age and workaholism (β = .60, p < .01, F = 14.30).
Discussion
The present meta-analysis sought to more clearly understand the nomological network of
workaholism by quantitatively examining its correlates and outcomes. Recent qualitative
reviews of the workaholism literature (Ng et al., 2007; Piotrowski & Vodanovich, 2006; Snir
& Harpaz, 2012) have begun to lay the theoretical framework guiding investigations into
workaholism. The present study complements these qualitative reviews by providing a quan-
titative summary of the nomological network of workaholism. Overall, it appears that worka-
holism is related to achievement-oriented correlates (e.g., Type A personality). Findings
suggest that workaholism is related to negative outcomes such as increased job stress, work–
life conflict, burnout, decreased job and life satisfaction, and poor physical and emotional/
mental health. Furthermore, workaholism was not significantly related to work performance,
though it did have small positive relationships with career prospects and managerial status.
Across all variables, workaholism had the strongest relationship with time commitment to
job, followed by job stress, perfectionism, and marital disaffection. Below, we discuss the
implications of our results and offer some suggestions for future research on this topic.
None of the demographic variables were significantly related to workaholism, which fur-
ther substantiates the idea that workaholics are driven to work not because of financial or
family needs (e.g., pressure to support a spouse or children), but because of some internal
compulsion to work. It is important to note that gender was not related to workaholism. Thus,
contrary to predictions based on sex role theory (Pleck, 1977) and societal norms that men
are more invested in work and women are more invested in family because of traditional
roles (Blair-Loy, 2003), our results suggest that men are not more likely than women to be
workaholics. It would be interesting to examine how gender role, rather than gender, relates
to workaholism. We could not find any studies examining this relationship, however.
Our findings support the idea that workaholics are likely to be highly achievement-ori-
ented and strive to perfectionist standards, given the strong positive relationships between
perfectionism, Type A personality, and nondelegation with workaholism. Contrary to predic-
tions, workaholism was not significantly related to self-esteem. There appears to be a great
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24
Table 4
Moderator Analyses by Published Versus Unpublished Studies
Variable N k r SD r ρ SD ρ
% Variance
Explained
95% CI
CV10 CV90Lower Upper
Correlates
Age
Published 5,984 20 –.04 .08 –.04 .06 45.28 –.082 .002 –.129 .050
Unpublished 863 7 –.03 .12 –.03 .08 51.81 –.142 .074 –.162 .094
Education level
Published 932 3 –.08 .09 –.09 .08 37.97 –.207 .024 –.193 .010
Unpublished 534 5 .09 .10 .10 .02 95.79 .000 .208 .073 .135
Gender
Published 5,376 18 .00 .10 .00 .09 33.16 –.053 .049 –.117 .112
Unpublished 647 5 .01 .08 .01 .00 100.00 –.078 .098 .010 .010
Perfectionism
Published 2,169 7 .44 .16 .54 .19 11.68 .395 .695 .304 .786
Unpublished 569 3 .49 .05 .57 .00 100.00 .510 .639 .575 .575
Nondelegation
Published 1,774 4 .34 .11 .42 .12 16.33 .291 .553 .267 .577
Unpublished 569 3 .28 .06 .36 .00 100.00 .273 .449 .361 .361
Hours worked
Published 17,529 14 .27 .13 .30 .13 4.69 .225 .369 .127 .467
Unpublished 770 6 .36 .14 .39 .13 29.33 .264 .520 .222 .562
Tenure
Published 854 4 –.05 .07 –.06 .00 100.00 –.136 .014 –.061 –.061
Unpublished 782 5 .00 .16 .00 .15 26.05 –.161 .160 –.200 .198
Time commitment to job
Published 1,783 4 .60 .09 .74 .10 14.36 .626 .849 .604 .861
Unpublished 569 3 .51 .10 .61 .10 30.88 .481 .749 .491 .740
Work role overload
Published 6,179 11 .43 .10 .53 .11 25.12 .455 .602 .392 .664
Unpublished 1,293 4 .38 .05 .38 .02 88.66 .328 .428 .357 .400
(continued)
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25
Variable N k r SD r ρ SD ρ
% Variance
Explained
95% CI
CV10 CV90Lower Upper
Job involvement/centrality
Published 3,514 8 .42 .08 .53 .08 41.39 .465 .606 .437 .634
Unpublished 667 4 .43 .07 .55 .07 52.61 .451 .652 .462 .641
Work enjoyment
Published 6,869 23 .21 .12 .27 .12 39.97 .212 .336 .125 .423
Unpublished 1,061 8 .39 .19 .47 .21 17.75 .314 .632 .210 .736
Outcomes
Job satisfaction
Published 8,524 18 –.09 .18 –.12 .22 6.66 –.224 –.013 –.397 .160
Unpublished 577 5 .05 .05 .06 .00 100.00 .011 .114 .063 .063
Job stress
Published 2,487 8 .45 .13 .56 .14 22.83 .451 .676 .383 .744
Unpublished 886 7 .43 .08 .53 .05 73.51 .452 .605 .461 .596
Performance
Published 5,843 6 –.07 .15 –.09 .18 4.40 –.234 .062 –.315 .143
Unpublished 883 6 .01 .08 .00 .00 100.00 –.070 .085 .008 .008
Work–life conflict
Published 7,800 19 .39 .17 .47 .19 7.99 .383 .567 .227 .723
Unpublished 277 3 .20 .19 .25 .20 29.35 –.020 .525 –.004 .509
Burnout overall
Published 10,002 14 .33 .14 .40 .16 9.92 .314 .490 .200 .604
Unpublished 317 4 .13 .05 .16 .00 100.00 .095 .220 .157 .157
Physical health
Published 10,726 18 –.26 .10 –.32 .11 16.97 –.376 –.262 –.462 –.177
Unpublished 367 4 –.19 .13 –.26 .10 66.66 –.444 –.086 –.398 –.132
Emotional/mental health
Published 4,849 12 –.33 .13 –.40 .13 17.68 –.481 –.311 –.568 –.224
Unpublished 1,068 6 –.28 .19 –.35 .22 13.43 –.538 –.161 –.626 –.073
Note: N = number of participants; k = number of samples; r = sample-size-weighted mean observed validity; SD r = standard deviation of r; ρ = r corrected for unreliability;
bolded ρ represents significant corrected r; italicized ρ represents significant moderation by publication status; SD ρ = standard deviation of ρ; % variance = the percentage
of variance in effect sizes that was accounted for by statistical artifacts and sampling error; CI = confidence interval of ρ; CV10 and CV90 = 10% and 90% credibility values
of ρ, respectively. Gender: 1 = men, 2 = women.
Table 4 (continued)
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26 Journal of Management / Month 201X
deal of variability in the findings pertaining to this relationship, with some studies finding a
positive relationship (e.g., del Libano, Llorens, Salanova, & Schaufeli, 2012) and others
finding a negative relationship (e.g., Graves et al., 2012) between self-esteem and workahol-
ism. It is possible the relationship between self-esteem and workaholism is more complex
than can be fully examined given the present data; thus, future research is needed before a
definitive conclusion can be reached regarding this relationship. A positive relationship was
found between extraversion and workaholism, which was surprising given that extraversion
is often highly correlated with trait PA (McCrae & Costa, 1991), and no relationship was
found between PA and workaholism in the present study. Given that this effect size was small
in magnitude (see Cohen, 1988) and based on only four samples, we encourage researchers
to further examine this relationship. It is conceivable that certain facets of extraversion (e.g.,
assertiveness) may be more related to workaholism than others. This is an interesting possi-
bility that to our knowledge has not been examined in the literature.
Workaholism had strong positive relationships with the job demands of work role over-
load and work role conflict, but a negative relationship with work role ambiguity. The posi-
tive relationships with work role overload and work role conflict could be explained by
several plausible alternatives: (a) highly demanding jobs encourage individuals to engage in
workaholic behavior (Erden, Toplu, & Yaşhoğlu, 2013), (b) workaholics are actually creating
more work or role conflict for themselves in an effort to continue working (Machlowitz,
1980), (c) workaholics are attracted to companies and jobs that have high job demands (Snir
& Harpaz, 2012), or (d) workaholics may attribute their heavy work investment to various
Table 5
Moderation by Percentage of Women in Sample
Outcome kβ Regression F Value
Age 27 .60 14.30**
Hours worked 20 –.16 0.47
Work role overload 13 .27 0.89
Job involvement/centrality 12 .13 0.17
Perfectionism 10 –.56 3.67
Work engagement overall 14 –.34 1.57
Vigor 11 –.03 0.01
Dedication 10 –.19 0.28
Burnout overall 18 .02 0.00
Emotional exhaustion 15 .11 0.16
Performance 12 –.54 4.11
Work enjoyment 30 –.30 2.77
Job satisfaction 22 .11 0.26
Job stress 15 –.41 2.69
Work–life conflict 21 –.24 1.13
Physical health 21 .48 5.68*
Emotional/mental health 17 .10 0.16
Note: k = number of samples cumulated; β = standardized beta weight for moderator. Positive beta weights indicate
that the correlation coefficient gets closer to 1 as the percentage of women in the sample increases; negative beta
weights indicate that the correlation coefficient gets closer to –1 as the percentage of women in the sample increases.
*p < .05.
**p < .01.
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Clark et al. / Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism 27
job demands due to a self-serving attribution bias (Snir & Harpaz, 2012). Given that all of the
studies in the present meta-analysis examined the relationship between job demands and
workaholism using cross-sectional designs, it is not possible to examine which of these alter-
natives is more plausible. The negative relationship between work role ambiguity and worka-
holism was unexpected. Given that workaholics spend so much time at work, perhaps they
have more time and opportunity to clarify their work objectives, duties, and responsibilities.
When examining this particular finding, however, it appears to be largely influenced by one
large Japanese sample (N of 4,621; Kanai & Wakabayashi, 2001) that found a significant
negative relationship; the other three samples (two from Italy and one from the United States)
found small positive relationships between role ambiguity and workaholism. Thus, it is pos-
sible that culture may be a critical moderator of this relationship. Overall, there has been very
little research on the relationship between various job demands and workaholism, and to our
knowledge this relationship has been examined only using self-report cross-sectional designs;
thus, future research using experience sampling and longitudinal data collection methodolo-
gies is encouraged, in addition to measuring various job demands using other-reports or
objective data.
Turning next to job resources, as expected there was a negative relationship between
workaholism and job control. However, there was a small yet significant positive relationship
between supervisor support and workaholism. Both of these relationships, however, can be
considered small in magnitude (Cohen, 1988). A positive relationship between workaholism
and perceived supervisor support may suggest that supervisors may support, or even facili-
tate, a workaholic’s excessive involvement with work. It is important to point out that there
is evidence that different dimensions of workaholism may have opposite relationships with
supervisor support (Schaufeli, Taris, & van Rhenen, 2008). Thus, our finding of a positive
relationship between supervisor support and workaholism should be considered tentative,
and we encourage future research to fully understand this relationship.
The relationship between workaholism and work engagement received mixed support. On
the one hand, workaholism was positively correlated with overall work engagement and the
absorption dimension (though again, these correlations were small in magnitude; Cohen,
1988). However, workaholism was not related to the vigor or dedication dimensions of work
engagement. The positive correlation found between workaholism and absorption is consis-
tent with the idea that workaholics may experience a sort of “rush” from working (Sussman,
2012), a phenomenon that may be quite similar to that experienced with the work engage-
ment facet of absorption, and also with the idea that workaholics are fully immersed in their
work and have a difficult time disengaging (McMillan & O’Driscoll, 2006). Our finding of a
positive relationship between workaholism and absorption is also consistent with a previous
study by Schaufeli and colleagues that found the work engagement subscale of absorption
cross-loaded on a latent workaholism factor (Schaufeli, Taris, & van Rhenen, 2008). As it is
also important to consider the similarities and differences between workaholism and work
engagement in their pattern of relationships with other variables, we compared the results
from the present meta-analysis to a recent meta-analysis of the correlates of work engage-
ment (Christian et al., 2011). This comparison revealed that both workaholism and work
engagement had positive relationships with organizational commitment and job involve-
ment, yet they had opposite relationships with constructs such as PA, job performance, and
job satisfaction. In sum, while workaholism and work engagement may share some common
characteristics (i.e., being heavily involved or absorbed in one’s work), they do appear to be
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28 Journal of Management / Month 201X
distinct constructs when considering their relationships with affectively laden variables as
well as certain outcomes (e.g., performance).
These results also supported the idea that workaholism is associated with spending more
time at work, as evidenced by moderate to strong correlations with all work involvement
variables. However, given that workaholism and work hours were only moderately corre-
lated, we agree with other researchers (e.g., McMillan, Brady, O’Driscoll, & Marsh, 2002)
who suggest using only work hours to represent workaholism may be misleading. For exam-
ple, one might assume that entrepreneurs and the self-employed are workaholics if one uses
solely work hours to operationalize workaholism, given that these workers tend to work
excessively long hours (Snir & Harpaz, 2004). However, a recent study found no significant
differences between self-employed and salaried workers in working compulsively (Gorgievski
et al., 2010). Finally, because of a lack of primary studies, we were not able to examine the
relationship between workaholism and work-related overcommitment, a cognitive-motiva-
tional pattern of excessive commitment to work where one has a high need for approval, and
an inability to detach from work (Siegrist et al., 2004). Given the similarities between these
two constructs, future research should examine this relationship.
One of the goals of the present meta-analysis was to offer some clarification on the rela-
tionship between workaholism and affectively laden constructs such as work enjoyment, job
satisfaction, PA, and NA. Unfortunately, there are still some unanswered questions given that
the majority of research has examined these relationships using cross-sectional data at the
between-person level. On the one hand, there was a small to moderate positive correlation
between workaholism and work enjoyment, indicating that workaholics do tend to enjoy
their work at least to some extent. On the other hand, workaholism was negatively related to
job satisfaction and was not related to PA (state or trait) and it was significantly (and posi-
tively) related to NA (state and trait). It is possible that a significant relationship was found
between workaholism and NA because the negative feelings felt by workaholics when they
are not at work (e.g., guilt) outweigh the positive feelings felt by workaholics when they are
working. However, one study examined discrete negative emotions generally felt at work and
home, and found that workaholics were equally as likely to experience negative emotions at
work as they were at home (Clark, Michel, Stevens, Howell, & Scruggs, in press).
Furthermore, Clark et al. did not find a significant relationship between workaholism and
positive emotions at work or at home, which is consistent with the findings of the present
meta-analysis. One explanation for the positive correlation between workaholism and work
enjoyment, as discussed earlier and as proposed by other researchers (e.g., Sussman, 2012),
is that workaholics experience a sort of “high” or “rush” while working that may provide
moments of joviality and thus workaholics report greater work enjoyment. However, given
the present findings that workaholism was positively related to both trait and state NA, it
appears that if it does occur, this rush is very short-lived and is quickly replaced by negative
emotions and job dissatisfaction. This explanation cannot be tested with the traditional cross-
sectional study, and unfortunately, of the two momentary studies of workaholism, Bakker et
al. (2013) did not examine emotions at work (only evening happiness), and while Snir and
Zohar (2008) found that workaholics reported higher PA associated with work than leisure
compared to nonworkaholics, they operationalized workaholism as the number of hours
worked, which, as we have pointed out, is a deficient measure of workaholism. Thus, future
research examining the momentary experiences of workaholics is needed to fully understand
these complex relationships.
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Clark et al. / Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism 29
The moderator analyses revealed a fairly strong effect of gender on the relationship
between age and workaholism. Further examination of this relationship revealed that for the
five samples containing the greatest percentages of women, the uncorrected correlation
between age and workaholism was r = .08, whereas in the five samples containing the small-
est percentages of women (i.e., more men), the uncorrected correlation between age and
workaholism was r = –.11. These findings suggest that older men are less likely to be worka-
holics than younger men, while the opposite may be true for women; however, these findings
should be interpreted cautiously, given that the percentage of women in each sample is a
proxy for examining gender differences. We are not aware of any studies which have explic-
itly tested for gender differences in the relationship between age and workaholism, or in the
relationship between workaholism and physical health, so it is unclear at this point why
gender might serve as a moderator. In fact, the large majority of the studies included in this
meta-analysis controlled for gender in their analyses, rather than examining it as a substan-
tive variable in the main analyses. Thus, we encourage future researchers to include gender
as a variable of substance in their workaholism research, rather than simply controlling for it.
In general, results showed strong and consistent support for the idea that workaholism is
indeed linked with negative individual and organizational variables. Therefore, contrary to
the notion that workaholism is constructive and beneficial (Baruch, 2011), workaholism was
not related to higher levels of performance or job satisfaction; rather, it was related to many
negative outcomes such as burnout, job stress, lower job satisfaction, and poorer emotional/
mental and physical well-being. Based on these results, we do not believe it is useful to con-
tinue to “hype” the benefits of being a workaholic. Workaholics do not appear to be produc-
tive workers; to the contrary, workaholics may indeed end up costing organizations more
money through decreased health and well-being or increased CWBs.
Limitations and Implications for Research and Practice
Although the present study provides the first quantitative summary of workaholism cor-
relates and outcomes, some of these findings should be considered tentative given the small
number of studies examining some relationships (e.g., state affect, the Big Five). Regardless,
these findings provide at least a starting point for guiding future research on workaholism. In
addition, the majority of variables were measured through self-reports. Obtaining objective
measures of these variables is critically important, especially when attempting to understand
whether workaholism is actually related to increased organizational performance.
Unfortunately, we could find only two studies that measured performance objectively (i.e.,
Graves et al., 2012; Laurence, 2010). We did test for differences in the workaholism–perfor-
mance relationship based on self- versus other-report, and the effect sizes did not differ sig-
nificantly. Nevertheless, more research is needed, preferably studies that compare self-reports
to other-reports or objective indicators of performance to better understand these relation-
ships. Obtaining other reports is also important when investigating variables such as family
and career success, as workaholics may underestimate how much their behavior is influenc-
ing their family members.
Another limitation of this study is that only two moderators could be examined at this
time. Given the percentage of variance explained in many of the relationships, it is likely that
other moderators exist besides those examined. For example, the type of job/industry and
organizational culture may moderate the relationship between workaholism and outcomes.
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30 Journal of Management / Month 201X
Unfortunately, this information was not reported consistently enough to include these as
moderators in the present study. Furthermore, it would have been interesting to compare
findings cross-culturally, given that societal and cultural factors have been proposed to influ-
ence the relationship between workaholism and outcomes (Graves et al., 2012). Interestingly,
some of the relationships (e.g., burnout) have really not been studied thoroughly in the United
States; thus, future research in this area is needed. Cross-cultural investigations of workahol-
ism are also sorely needed. We could find only two studies that compared workaholism
relationships across cultures (i.e., Schaufeli, Shimazu, & Taris, 2009; Snir & Harpaz, 2012).
Our moderator analysis of publication status suggests that perhaps the quality of the stud-
ies included in the present meta-analysis, or the measurement of workaholism itself, may
have affected the study results. For example, in the two cases of significant moderation for
publication status (work overload and job satisfaction), there was a noticeable difference in
how workaholism was measured when comparing the published and unpublished samples.
For work role overload, all of the unpublished samples used the Spence and Robbins (1992)
Workaholism Battery, while the published samples used a variety of scales (DUWAS = 45%,
WART = 27%, Workaholism Battery = 18%, 9% other). Similarly, for job satisfaction, all of
the unpublished samples used the Spence and Robbins Workaholism Battery, while worka-
holism was assessed using a wide variety of measures in the published samples (Workaholism
Battery = 33%, DUWAS = 28%, WART = 11%, 28% used multiple measures or other mea-
sures). Given the disparate results from the published versus unpublished samples particu-
larly when considering the relationship between workaholism and job satisfaction, it is
important to consider not only the quality of studies examining relationships, but also the
particular measurement of workaholism, as these factors appear to have potentially influ-
enced the results at least to some extent. We should point out, however, that the majority of
our moderator analyses were found to not be significant, suggesting that, for the most part,
publication status did not appear to affect the overall study findings.
Future empirical research should also consider examining workaholism using other meth-
odologies (e.g., experience sampling) and with longitudinal data. Although there are a few
exceptions (Avanzi, van Dick, Fraccaroli, & Guido, 2012; Clark et al., in press; Shimazu,
Schaufeli, Kubota, & Kawakami, 2012), the majority of studies included in this meta-analy-
sis used cross-sectional designs. As the magnitude of a correlation decreases as the span of
time between assessments increases (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994), these relationships are
likely to be inflated. It is important to test the propositions put forth by Ng and colleagues
(2007) that workaholism may lead to positive outcomes in the short term but negative out-
comes in the long term. Initial evidence from a longitudinal study (measurement interval = 7
months) suggests that workaholism and work engagement lead to differential outcomes over
time, with workaholism relating to increases in ill health and decreases in life satisfaction and
work engagement relating to decreases in ill health and increases in life satisfaction and per-
formance (Shimazu et al., 2012). Results from this meta-analysis suggest that workaholism
may not result in positive outcomes even in the short run, based on the largely negative or
nonsignificant relationships between workaholism and indicators of well-being and organi-
zational performance. Finally, although workaholism has largely been considered a stable
individual difference variable, recent studies using a momentary approach (e.g., experience
sampling, day reconstruction) suggest that there is merit to studying individual variability in
workaholic behavior (Bakker et al., 2013; Snir & Zohar, 2008).
These results have practical implications as well. While it is clear from prior meta-
analyses that work engagement is associated with PA and increased performance
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Clark et al. / Correlates and Outcomes of Workaholism 31
(Christian et al., 2011), results from the present meta-analysis suggest that workaholism
is associated with NA and decreased performance (along with a whole host of other
negative outcomes). Thus, if organizations seek to increase productivity and minimize
employee burnout, they should strive to foster employees’ engagement rather than incen-
tivizing and praising workaholic behavior. For example, organizations could foster an
organizational culture that outright rejects excessive working (see organizations such as
SAS for a case study; O’Connor, 2005), or they could discontinue bonus systems that
reward excessive working (Seybold & Salomone, 1994). Supervisors should also be cog-
nizant of the example they are setting to subordinates, including the extent to which they
are supporting workaholic behaviors or modeling workaholic behaviors (Ng et al., 2007),
as well as monitoring any peer competition that may be intensifying workaholic behav-
iors. As Spruell (1987: 43) points out, “Workaholism practiced by even just one member
of a work group can suck the spirit right out of the team” and this behavior can cause
“destructive competitiveness among coworkers” where employees feel pressured to
work harder and longer just to get noticed. Finally, recent research suggests that partici-
pation in extracurricular activities such as sports and exercise during nonwork time was
particularly beneficial for workaholics, compared to nonworkaholics (Bakker et al.,
2013). Thus, in an effort to buffer the negative effects of workaholism on employee well-
being, companies could encourage all employees to get more active in sports and exer-
cise outside of work.
Conclusion
Although research on the topic of workaholism has been slow to develop, greater attention
has been given to the topic in recent years, partially due to advancements in measurement
(e.g., Bakker et al., 2013), and partially due to advancements in the theoretical conceptualiza-
tion of workaholism (e.g., Ng et al., 2007; Snir & Harpaz, 2012). It is encouraging to see this
increased attention, but there is still much that we do not fully know. We encourage future
research that uses experience sampling methodology and other such person-centric
approaches (see Weiss & Rupp, 2011) to more fully understand the emotions felt by worka-
holics in situ, as we really do not know enough about the affective nature of workaholism
based on the extant literature. Longitudinal research is also sorely needed to examine the
short-term and long-term consequences of workaholism. Finally, we also encourage the
development of new measures of workaholism derived deductively using the largely agreed-
on themes relating to the definition of workaholism, rather than the continued use or modifi-
cation of existing scales that may not fully assess this multifaceted construct (or that examine
additional factors that are not necessarily aspects of workaholism) and/or have consistently
fared poorly when subjected to factor analyses and other psychometric analyses (e.g., Spence
& Robbins’s Workaholism Battery). We hope that the present meta-analysis has begun to
clarify the nomological network of workaholism and highlighted the need for future research
on this important construct.
Notes
1. It is important to note that Ng, Sorensen, and Feldman (2007) distinguished between work enjoyment (one’s
enjoyment of the nature of one’s work) as measured by Spence and Robbins’s (1992) Workaholism Battery and
enjoyment of working (i.e., one’s emotional experience while in the act of working).
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32 Journal of Management / Month 201X
2. With one exception—Aziz and Zickar (2006) appeared to report corrected coefficients; thus for this instance
we coded the unpublished dissertation (i.e., Aziz, 2002). In some cases (e.g., Bonebright, 2001), the dissertation
reported additional relationships not reported in the final publication; in these cases we included the dissertation as
well as the published manuscript and coded only the unique relationships.
3.A separate set of analyses was also conducted using only the driven subscale of the Spence and Robbins (1992)
Workaholism Battery (i.e., the work involvement and work enjoyment dimensions were not included in a composite
along with the driven dimension). In almost all cases, the results from this additional set of analyses were identi-
cal to the present results. There were three exceptions, however. Specifically, in the analysis where only the driven
subscale was used to represent the Spence and Robbins Workaholism Battery, age (ρ = –.06, 95% CI = –.099, –.014)
and parental status (ρ = –.03, 95% CI = –.072, –.005) were found to be significantly related to workaholism and
extraversion was no longer significantly related to workaholism (ρ = .02, 95% CI = –.063, .105).
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... Moreover, indirect harm caused by compulsive overworking on other people may exceed the direct effects on individuals manifesting the behavior. It is because work addiction is unequivocally related to problematic functioning in families and intimate relations, causing distress for partners and children of work addict (Clark et al. 2016). Moreover, work addicted managers may have a substantial negative effect on their co-workers, organization, and the recipients of the organization's work (Atroszko and Atroszko 2020). ...
... It is associated with a strong need for control (APA 2013; WHO 2019). A meta-analysis found a considerable association between work addiction and perfectionism (ρ = 0.55; Clark et al. 2016). Studies indicate that the so-called "workaholism" symptom in OCPD shows good diagnostic efficiency and is present in a significant portion of cases (Grilo et al. 2004). ...
... The relationship between work addiction and negative emotions is well-established, with meta-analysis reporting moderate effect size for trait (ρ = 0.31) and state (ρ = 0.32) negative affect (Clark et al. 2016). All studies on the relationship between work addiction and anxiety included surveys on non-clinical samples ; Bartczak and Ogińska-Bulik 2012;Robinson 1999), using common anxiety scales, and finding a significant relationship. ...
Chapter
The available data leaves no doubt that compulsive overworking is a genuine problem related to significant harm. Thus far, most cases were recognized in relation to the official diagnosis of anankastia/obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). However, while this personality domain may be a risk factor, the available evidence suggests that work addiction is, to some extent, an independent clinical entity and addictive disorder with its own etiology, symptomatology, epidemiology, and course. Work addiction has substantial epidemiological significance due to its high prevalence rates (ranging from 6.6 to 20%) and impairments that it causes. Currently, no well-established theoretical models explaining the biological underpinnings of work addiction exist, and there are no related neuroimaging, physiological or genetic studies to date. It is comorbid with numerous mental disorders and potentially associated with stress-related health problems, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD). There are appropriate psychometric measures, such as the Bergen Work Addiction Scale, grounded in the addiction framework. There is paucity of high-quality data on the effectiveness of treatments, with most empirical evidence supporting a mindfulness-based approach. There is some indirect support for self-help groups such as Workaholics Anonymous and case reports on individual and family therapies. Treatments for other behavioral addictions and substance use disorders, as well as for anankastia/OCPD, may be adapted for work addiction because of shared similarities. These may include, notably, cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. Prevention initiatives directed at young populations, are indispensable to decrease the high prevalence of this disorder in industrialized countries. Perhaps, the greatest challenge currently facing research, prevention and treatment of this disorder is the social and institutional resistance to acknowledge it.KeywordsAnankastiaObsessive–compulsive personality disorderPerfectionismStudy addictionWork addictionWorkaholism Here is link to the full text of the chapter: https://rdcu.be/cVNRS
... Individuals who work excessively allocate a significant amount of time (i.e., high frequency) and effort (i.e., energy) for their work (Snir and Harpaz, 2021). More specifically, introverted and neurotic individuals tend to work excessively (Schaufeli, 2016), which negatively affects their job satisfaction (van Beek et al., 2014) and life satisfaction (Clark et al., 2016). ...
... Such a tendency reflects low selfesteem and a feeling of not being good enough. In such a case, individuals are more likely to work excessively and intensely to address the need to maintain their self-worth (Clark et al., 2016); thus, they are more likely to express low self-acceptance and interpersonal satisfaction (Plexico et al., 2019). ...
... Individuals who work excessively allocate a significant amount of time (i.e., high frequency) and effort (i.e., energy) to their work (Snir and Harpaz, 2021). More specifically, introverted and neurotic individuals tend to work excessively (Schaufeli, 2016), which negatively affects their job satisfaction (van Beek et al., 2014) and life satisfaction (Clark et al., 2016). ...
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... It is, therefore, not surprising that researchers think of work addiction as a negative entity. In addition to relatively mild consequences of work addiction as a lack of time for free activities [1], it has consistently been linked to such severe adverse outcomes as burnout, constant stress, work-family conflict, and lower job and life satisfaction [8]. Other negative effects of work addiction include sleep problems [9], elevated blood pressure [10], anxiety [11], depressed mood and even physical pain [12], which indicates a notable problem in living resulting from work addiction. ...
... Keeping in mind a growing scale of those displaying excessive behaviors when it comes to performing work and the negative consequences provoked by work addiction, researchers focused on analyzing its precursors. These mainly included personality traits (such as perfectionism, type A personality [8], extraversion, conscientiousness, intellect/imagination, negative affectivity, global and performance-based self-esteem [17], self-efficacy, neuroticism [18], etc.) and organizational variables (organizational climate, such as psychological climate for overwork [19,20], work characteristics, such as workload [18,21], working conditions, such as remote work [22], etc.). However, some authors (Robinson [23] probably was one of the most influential ones) noted that social influences and, more specifically, people surrounding an individual may also act as important factors inducing work addiction. ...
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The aim of the study was to examine the mediating role that work motivation plays in the relationship between perceived work addiction of parents and their adult child’s work addiction. The sample was comprised of 537 participants working in different Lithuanian organizations that were selected on the basis of the convenience principle. Data were collected by means of online self-administered questionnaires. To test a mediation model, a structural equation modeling was performed. It was found that perceived work addiction of both mother and father was related to higher levels of work addiction of their adult child. The results also indicated that perceived work addiction of the father was related to increased work addiction in an adult child through higher levels of extrinsic motivation as a partial mediator. The indirect effect of perceived work addiction of the mother (via extrinsic motivation) was not significant. As was expected, the indirect relationship between work addiction in parents and their adult child via intrinsic motivation was not significant. This study demonstrates that integrating both family-related and motivational variables may provide relevant insights into the nature of and mechanisms underlying work addiction and that studies in this field deserve to be further developed in future research.
... Common mental health consequences include psychosomatic symptoms (Schaufeli et al., 2008;Schou Andreassen et al., 2007), sleep problems (Andreassen, 2014;Kubota et al., 2010), conflicts between family life and work (Drønen, 2012), low life satisfaction (Shimazu et al., 2012), impaired quality of life (Azevedo & Mathias, 2017b;Lichtenstein et al., 2019), and poor well-being (Andreassen, 2014; Andreassen et al., 2011;Quinones & Griffiths, 2015;Schaufeli et al., 2009b;Shimazu et al., 2015). Apart from these psychosocial consequences, WA has been demonstrated to be strongly and consistently associated with high levels of depression (Carroll & Robinson, 2000), anxiety (Bartczak & Ogińska-Bulik, 2012;Robinson, 1999), and stress (Clark et al., 2016;Griffiths et al., 2018;Lichtenstein et al., 2019;Sandrin & Gillet, 2018). These work-related mental disorders engender heavy costs at the individual, institutional, and social levels (e.g., Atroszko (2019)). ...
... Research on WA is relatively new and growing (Clark et al., 2016), remains limited, and of low quality (Andreassen et al., 2018). Most of the prior research has been conducted in Western and Eastern countries (Hu et al., 2014), while only very limited research has been done in Arab countries. ...
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Work addiction is considered a public health concern, as it can lead to negative and harmful health outcomes. However, patterns leading from work addiction to mental health concerns remain so far largely unknown and under-studied. We aimed to verify whether the relationship between work addiction and psychological distress (i.e., depression, anxiety, and stress) is mediated by food addiction among young adult workers in the context of Lebanese culture. The second objective was to validate the Arabic version of the Bergen Work Addiction Scale (BWAS). The online cross-sectional survey was conducted among 1268 Lebanese young adult workers (65.1% females, mean age 26.18 years) using the Bergen Work Addiction Scale, the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale, the Yale Food Addiction Scale, and the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire. The PROCESS SPSS Macro version 3.4, model four, was used to compute the mediation analysis. Findings revealed that 175 (13.8%) were presented as work-addicted individuals, and 226 (17.8%) exhibited addictive- like eating behaviors. Bivariate analyses showed that higher degree of work addiction and food addiction was significantly associated with higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. The results of the mediation analysis showed that the association between work addiction and depression, anxiety, and stress was mediated by food addiction. In light of our findings, we cautiously suggest that the link of work addiction to psychological distress via food addiction implies that strategies targeting food addiction might mitigate the harmful effects of work addiction on workers’ mental health.
... Even though work addiction is receiving more and more attention both among the laity and in the scientific community, it is difficult to find a clear consensus in the conceptualization of the construct and in the positive and negative outcomes of the phenomenon [1]. As a result of a recent debate on the topic of work addiction, experts of the field agreed that work addiction is not solely the result of a special combination of individual personal components, but it involves macro-, meso-and microlevel factors [2]. ...
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1) Background: Work addiction is a syndrome characterized by excessive and compulsive work disturbing one's health and personal and social life. Several quantitative studies investigated the correlates of work addiction, but the personal experiences of workaholics remained hidden. Our qualitative research explores the perceived parental style and childhood family climate of individuals affected by work addiction. (2) Method: Based on our previous research, we invited 29 individuals (48,3% females) at risk for work addiction based on a work addiction scale. Semi-structured interviews have addressed topics of working habits, work addiction, social relationships, and their early family experiences. The texts were analyzed by qualitative thematic analysis using both de-ductive and inductive methods. (3) Results: The interviewees were affected by dysfunctional family mechanisms, i.e., lack of sense of security at home and addictions in the family. The participants reported that internalized parental values (transferred values and work attitudes, high expectations, and compulsion to conform) contributed to their later compulsive overwork. (4) Conclusions: Qualitative research can help to emphasize the individuals' own experiences about the development of their work addiction. Dysfunctional family mechanisms and parental values might be significant risk factors for the work addiction of an offspring.
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Our study examined construct validity evidence for a measure of perceptions of Stress as a Badge of Honour, consisting of four dimensions: stress as achievement, relaxation remorse, stress-related social comparison, and stress-related impression management. A pilot study among college students (Study 1; N = 120) informed the initial development of the measure, which was further tested in two worker samples recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk). The results of Study 2 (N = 248) supported a four-factor structure of the measure. Study 3 utilised data collected at two time points (Matched N = 752), assessing stress badge perceptions, convergent and discriminant validity measures (Time 1), and measures of health, well-being, and performance (Time 2). The four subscales were related to, but unique from, convergent validity measures (e.g. workaholism, perfectionism) and were not highly related to discriminant validity measures (i.e. social desirability, positive and negative affect). The stress badge perceptions demonstrated some positive relationships with job performance, but predominantly negative relationships with psychological and physical health, and work-family conflict. Our findings expand our understanding of the dark side of viewing high stress in a laudatory manner by introducing a novel measure and can inform interventions to promote optimal views of stress.
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How much control do people have over their career? We explore this question in the context of professional service firms, long thought of as providing predictable, agentic careers in the up-or-out model. Specifically, we seek to understand how chance events in immediate work circumstances are experienced in this context, and the responses they elicit in terms of career construction. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 68 pre-partnership professionals from three large professional firms using the up-or-out promotion system, we find that chance developments in proximate work conditions, especially with respect to key relationships and project allocation, shape the possibilities that professionals see for their careers going forward and the actions they take in response. Even in this seemingly predictable career, being continuously attuned to fortuitous turns of events informs how people enact career agency. It also prompts a heightened awareness of the fragile nature of the up-or-out career path, triggering a gradual reconsideration of career possibilities that includes career confirmation, ambivalence, pivot, and fading. Our study contributes to better understanding the interdependence between context and agency in contemporary careers, highlighting the widespread and consequential role of proximate chance events in people's career construction process.
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Human beings need to feel affects and to work, so it is important to balance personal and professional life. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, workers that are unable to disconnect from work and respect rest and leisure hours while teleworking can become workaholics. The present study aims to analyze the levels of workaholism and to study the influence of affects on workaholism in the teleworking context. A quantitative methodology was used, based on data obtained from 365 Portuguese workers who responded to a questionnaire survey that analyzes workaholism levels in workers who were teleworking from home, their affects and some sociodemographic variables. In general, being involved in telecommuting increases levels of workaholism. The results of the application of the structural equation modeling with partial least squares revealed that affects influence workaholism. In teleworking practice, the influence of affects on the workaholism condition is very important and can provide organizational managers with information to help those employees become more productive. On the other hand, it is important to ensure a balance in the use of time between teleworking and everyday life. This study contributes to the scientific knowledge in the teleworking field more specifically, for the relationship between workaholism and the affects when telecommuting. This study is also important for organizations and workers to define strategies to maintain a balance between affects and work.
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The increasing interest in work addiction is connected to recent changes in the work culture and work habits. Despite this interest, knowledge pertaining to this phenomenon and measures to assess it are still limited. This study aims to contribute by examining the psychometric features of the Italian version of the Bergen Work Addiction Scale, a unidimensional scale based on the perspective of addiction. The research method consisted in two steps: in the first cross-sectional study, a convenience sample of 1,035 workers filled in a self-report questionnaire; the second step was a two-wave longitudinal study that involved a convenience sample of 292 workers. Results confirmed the psychometric properties of the scale across employees and self-employed groups. Moreover, results showed a significantly higher level of work addiction among self-employed workers than employees. This study provides support for the evaluation of workaholism in the Italian context among different kind of professions.
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Purpose The purpose of this article is to investigate the mediating role of subjective well-being (SWB) in the relationship workaholism and workplace incivility with an emphasis on the moderating role of gender. Design/methodology/approach Using an online survey, the required data were collected from 401 employees in 41 public organizations in Iran. Findings By structural equation modeling, the results showed workaholism has a negative direct association with workplace incivility. Additionally, SWB mediates the relationships between workaholism and workplace incivility. Moreover, workaholic men and women are more likely to experience higher workplace incivility and lower SWB, respectively. Practical implications Managers should focus on reducing workaholism and developing SWB to decrease uncivil behaviors. Researchers need to assess the different instigators of incivility, considering the mediating or moderating role of other variables in private organizations. Social implications The stress of workaholism, coupled with the harsh conditions of economic sanctions in Iran, has exacerbated the occurrence of incivility behavior. This study helps to reduce and control such behaviors by examining the role of SWB and gender. Originality/value The study contributes to the research on incivility behavior by advancing the understanding of organizational and personal factors (workaholism and SWB) that can influence workplace incivility among employees. It also addresses the usefulness of examining SWB disposition in understanding the relationship between workaholism and workplace incivility.
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One of the major impact factors on work-family conflict is the onerous influence of workaholism. This paper presents the findings of recent empirical studies on the nexus of work-family conflict and workaholism. The authors examine studies, published over the past decade, that investigated the relationship between these 2 domains. A developmental model is offered, in addition to a conceptual framework, that may elucidate and guide future research in this area.
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This study of university students (64 men and 99 women) examined both dispositional and situational influences of self-critical (SC) perfectionism on stress and coping, which explain its association with high negative affect and low positive affect. Participants completed questionnaires at the end of the day for 7 consecutive days. Structural equation modeling indicated that the relation between SC perfectionism and daily affect could be explained by several maladaptive tendencies associated with SC perfectionism (e.g., hassles, avoidant coping, low perceived social support). Multilevel modeling indicated that SC perfectionists were emotionally reactive to stressors that imply possible failure, loss of control, and criticism from others. As well, certain coping strategies (e.g., problem-focused coping) were ineffective for high-SC perfectionists relative to low-SC perfectionists.
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I: Background.- 1. An Introduction.- 2. Conceptualizations of Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination.- II: Self-Determination Theory.- 3. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Perceived Causality and Perceived Competence.- 4. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Regulation.- 5. Toward an Organismic Integration Theory: Motivation and Development.- 6. Causality Orientations Theory: Personality Influences on Motivation.- III: Alternative Approaches.- 7. Operant and Attributional Theories.- 8. Information-Processing Theories.- IV: Applications and Implications.- 9. Education.- 10. Psychotherapy.- 11. Work.- 12. Sports.- References.- Author Index.
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A new measure of workaholism, the Workaholism Analysis Questionnaire (WAQ), was created and validated in a heterogeneous sample of working professionals. The WAQ demonstrated strong internal reliability, convergent validity, concurrent validity, discriminant validity, and content validity. This is the first study to create a measure of workaholism that was psychometrically tested on a heterogeneous working population. Furthermore, the WAQ is the first measure to define workaholism more broadly and provide a more comprehensive assessment by including items that directly tap into work-life imbalance, a common symptom of workaholism and other addictive disorders.
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http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674018167 The wrenching decision facing successful women choosing between demanding careers and intensive family lives has been the subject of many articles and books, most of which propose strategies for resolving the dilemma. Competing Devotions focuses on broader social and cultural forces that create women’s identities and shape their understanding of what makes life worth living. Mary Blair-Loy examines the career paths of women financial executives who have tried various approaches to balancing career and family. The professional level these women have attained requires a huge commitment of time, energy, and emotion that seems natural to employers and clients, who assume that a career deserves single-minded allegiance. Meanwhile, these women must confront the cultural model of family that defines marriage and motherhood as a woman’s primary vocation. This ideal promises women creativity, intimacy, and financial stability in caring for a family. It defines children as fragile and assumes that men lack the selflessness and patience that children’s primary caregivers need. This ideal is taken for granted in much of contemporary society. The power of these assumptions is enormous but not absolute. Competing Devotions identifies women executives who try to reshape these ideas. These mavericks, who face great resistance but are aided by new ideological and material resources that come with historical change, may eventually redefine both the nuclear family and the capitalist firm in ways that reduce work–family conflict.
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The current study examined Spence and Robbins' (1992) worker types in terms of correlates of workaholism (e.g., work-life imbalance, obsessive-compulsive behavior). A survey was administered to professionals, who were then classified into different worker types following the traditional median-split technique. The data were also analyzed with three composite variables that capture the worker types in a continuous fashion. The results of the correlation analysis with the composites were similar to those obtained with the median-split approach. Specifically, workaholics had higher levels of work-life imbalance than work enthusiasts, whereas unengaged workers and relaxed workers had low levels; workaholics and positively engaged workers had high levels of obsessive-compulsive behavior, whereas work enthusiasts, unengaged workers, and relaxed workers showed low levels.
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Two dimensions of workaholism - Drive to work and Enjoyment of work - and four aspects of organizational climate - Work Pressure; Involvement; Supervisor Support; Co-worker Cohesion - were considered in the reported research. The relationship between these variables revealed that aspects of the workplace environment were related to levels of both Drive and Enjoyment. Work pressure, Involvement, Co-worker Cohesion and Supervisor Support were all related to work enjoyment, with Co-worker Cohesion and Supervisor Support the strongest predictors. Only Work Pressure was related to the drive to work. Further, comparisons between two occupational groups - Business Services (n=85); Social Services (n=66) - revealed differences in levels of the components of workaholism. Those in the Business Services had higher Drive and lower Enjoyment than those in the Social Services. Implications for understanding and reducing workaholism are discussed.