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Abstract

Methodology/Approach: There is a lack of theoretical development on the question of why people work long hours and the nature of ‘workaholism’. This paper uses the economist’s utility-maximization model to build a conceptual model of voluntary work effort that explains the work effort decision of individuals. We demonstrate a variety of reasons that induce a person to work ‘excessively’. The paper advances our understanding of work motivation and workaholic behavior and presents a series of researchable propositions for empirical testing. Propositions: Individuals will work long hours when motivated to do so by the satisfaction they derive separately and collectively from (a) income (materialism); (b) leisure; (c) perquisites; and (d) work per se. It is argued that only the person who is strongly motivated by the latter reason is properly called a workaholic, and that the imposition of negative externalities on co-workers is a separate issue that might also involve work enthusiasts. Originality of the Paper: This paper discerns three subcategories of the ‘work enthusiast’, which we call ‘materialist’, ‘the low-leisure’ and the ‘perkaholic’ hard workers. We demonstrate that these work enthusiasts work long hours for relatively high job satisfaction, while workaholics gain relatively low job satisfaction. Inflicting negative externalities on fellow workers is argued to be a separate issue – any one of the hard workers might irk their fellow workers by working ‘too hard’ or by their individual mannerisms.
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... For the current study, relationships between workaholism and variables that have been established were considered for criterion validity purposes. Many empirical studies reinforce the notion that workaholism is mainly related to adverse outcomes for both the individual and the organization (Balducci et al., 2018;Burke, 2004;Douglas & Morris, 2006;Mudrack, 2004;Van Beek et al., 2012Van Wijhe et al., 2011). For instance, workaholism is negatively related to work engagement (Schaufeli et al.,2008), organizational commitment Douglas & Morris, 2006;Liang & Chu, 2009), performance (Shimazu et al., 2012(Shimazu et al., , 2015 and positively related with burnout and mental distress (Balducci et al., 2018). ...
... Many empirical studies reinforce the notion that workaholism is mainly related to adverse outcomes for both the individual and the organization (Balducci et al., 2018;Burke, 2004;Douglas & Morris, 2006;Mudrack, 2004;Van Beek et al., 2012Van Wijhe et al., 2011). For instance, workaholism is negatively related to work engagement (Schaufeli et al.,2008), organizational commitment Douglas & Morris, 2006;Liang & Chu, 2009), performance (Shimazu et al., 2012(Shimazu et al., , 2015 and positively related with burnout and mental distress (Balducci et al., 2018). ...
... Negative affect is stimulated through feelings of nervousness and anxiety, which are characteristic of workaholics (Killinger, 2006), which can explain workaholics having lower organizational commitment. Douglas and Morris (2006) also showed that workaholics experience lower job satisfaction, insufficient growth opportunities, high work pressure and a stronger intention to leave the organization. The latter points to poor organizational commitment. ...
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... Other perspectives also include the instrumental perspective concerned with the lack of work engagement, the existence of certain personality traits, and inner drive (Kim 2019;Van Beek et al., 2012;Stoeber et al., 2013). Finally, the combined perspective attributed workaholism to an uncontrollable work drive due to internal or external factors resulting in a devotion to work that can either be engaged or unenthusiastic (similar to the Traditional approach) (Kim, 2019;Douglas & Morris, 2006;Andreassen et al. 2012, Mazzetti, et al., 2014. While having different perspectives can be seen as enriching, not having a clear definition can lead to diverse implications on practice in the workplace (Kim, 2019). ...
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... Perseverance allied with obsessive passion is inflexible and may lead to poor performance . HP and workaholism differ in terms of the employee's ability and disability to be detached from work, respectively (Douglas and Morris, 2006). Workaholic employees' internal compulsion derives them from working excessively, getting involved in their work and having difficulty disengaging themselves from it (Graves et al., 2012). ...
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