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Workaholism-Does Working More Impact Productivity?

  • Thninketh Labs, Chennai, India

Abstract and Figures

If you believe that longer work hours mean you'll get more done, you may be wrong. Doing business and being busy are two different things. Workaholics hinder the generation of new ideas and doing business differently. Essentially, workaholics never give their brains the rest required to create new ideas or focus on the task at hand, resulting in poor productivity. Research studies in UK and USA have found that these tendencies lead to elevated stress levels and result in over commitment and under achievement. Over working leads to workaholics resulting in lower productivity and profits for the organization. It has been found that workaholics not only affect today's Productivity but also future business success of the company. Today, more and more companies are looking for healthy and sustainable way of business operations and over working is definitely is not an option. Weekly work hours in several developed and developing countries are being reduced to about 40 hours for achieving sustainable productivity in operations. Key Words-Productivity and workaholic attitudes, Research work in UK and USA, Future business success and overwork, optimizing work hours per week.
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Workaholism – Does Working More Impact
Dr. K.R. Subramanian
Professor of Management & Senior Consultant Operations Management,
Abstract - If you believe that longer work hours mean you’ll get
more done, you may be wrong. Doing business and being busy
are two different things. Workaholics hinder the generation of
new ideas and doing business differently. Essentially,
workaholics never give their brains the rest required to create
new ideas or focus on the task at hand, resulting in poor
productivity. Research studies in UK and USA have found that
these tendencies lead to elevated stress levels and result in over
commitment and under achievement. Over working leads to
workaholics resulting in lower productivity and profits for the
organization. It has been found that workaholics not only affect
today’s Productivity but also future business success of the
company. Today, more and more companies are looking for
healthy and sustainable way of business operations and over
working is definitely is not an option. Weekly work hours in
several developed and developing countries are being reduced to
about 40 hours for achieving sustainable productivity in
Key Words - Productivity and workaholic attitudes, Research
work in UK and USA, Future business success and overwork,
optimizing work hours per week.
Being busy (or pretending to be) may not mean you’re
completing what needs to be done, or even that you’re
doing it well. Workaholics actually may be ineffective,
according to a Psychology Today article on the connection
between working hard and being a workaholic. This is
because they’re poor team members who have a hard time
delegating work, and end up overcommitted and therefore
more disorganized than others. Stress, sleep deprivation
and lack of exercise are hallmarks of workaholics, and they
actually hinder the generation of creative ideas, according
to a recent study of 1,385 people by online psychological
assessment firm Psych Tests. And a large UK study of
21,000 employees found that elevated stress levels and lack
of sleep lowered productivity in the workplace.
A British study found that those who work 55 hours a week
or more were 33 per cent more likely to suffer a
stroke compared with those who clocked 35 to 40 hours per
week. There was also a significant increase of 10 per cent
in heart attacks and other cardiac health issues. Stressful
environment, too much sitting and poor diets are being
looked at as contributing factors to the health risks of long
work weeks. Since the late 1980s, there has been strong
popular interest in the subject of working hours and in the
so-called workaholic. There has been less interest in the
academic literature on the subject of long working hours
and the motivations of those who work beyond the limits of
what is necessary. The new dimension points to another
group alongside workaholics: over workers. In one of the
research studies, One hundred seventy-four managers and
professionals with master of business administration
degrees rated themselves on work and reward dimensions
and provided data about work behaviors, rewards, attitudes,
and job progression as part of a longitudinal study. Over
workers and workaholics were found to differ on a number
of dimensions. Implications for these groups, including
their potential roles in the context of boundary less careers,
and for the organizations that employ them were found to
be not favorable.
The No. 1 goal of a workaholic is to be busy at all times
as they believe that the busier they are (or appear), the
more important they must be. Workaholics fill any space in
time with busy work because they feel insecure doing
nothing, the insecurity comes from not knowing their
Figure 1: Workaholic Skipping a vacation or Lunch
may not be the best idea
What’s more, experts agree that grabbing lunch with co-
workers and clients can be a great way to network and
further your career. A high performer works hard in
"healthy sustainable ways and feels happy and inspired,"
meanwhile, a workaholic "works hard in unhealthy
unsustainable ways and feels unhappy and burned out."
Productivity has always been a concern of all
manufacturing companies. So, many companies resorted to
getting an extra mile from its workers for the same salary
and wages. But soon this practice led to some workers
being on the job for a longer time than required to
complete the work resulting in an actual drop of
Productivity. More than the drop of productivity, which
could be improved, permanent arm was done to the
working habits of employees. Being present on the job for
more and more duration than it actually called for affect the
long term habit and consequently the output and
productivity measures in place for measurement. The
present research paper would analyze the pros and cons of
such improper conduct of employees. Following specific
Objectives have been identified for the purpose of the
current research study:
1. A brief review of current business environment
regarding productivity and its measurement.
2. Some of the concerns and causes affecting
3. Circumstances leading to workaholic attitudes.
4. Analysis of consequences of such attitudes.
5. Suggestions and recommendation for overcoming
such attitudes.
A Questionnaire survey was initially considered for
eliciting response from different industrial companies. This
was found to be not feasible and cumbersome to collect,
collate and infer conclusions from data. On a study of
available literature, and the electronic web pages, it was
found that adequate data was available. The task was then
to identify the sources, collect, collate and classify the
information and data sources. This has been done and the
result was found to be satisfactory to arrive at the
conclusions and recommendations.
Contrary to popular belief, workaholic attitudes are wide
spread and consequently the author felt the need for
selecting the topic for a detailed research study. The term
work holism was coined in 1971 by minister and
psychologist Wayne Oates, who described workaholics as
“the compulsion or the uncontrollable need to work
incessantly” (Oates, 1971). Since then, research on work
holism has been plagued by disagreements surrounding
how to define and measure the construct. For example,
workaholism has been defined as an addiction to work (Ng,
Sorensen & Feldman, 2007; Porter, 2006; Robinson, 2000),
a pathology (Fassel, 1990), a behavior pattern that persists
across multiple organizational settings (Scott, Moore &
Miceli, 1997) and a syndrome comprised of high drive,
high work involvement and low work enjoyment (Aziz &
Zickar, 2006). In an effort to reconcile these varied
perspectives, key commonalities across these definitions
and used these to form a comprehensive definition that
includes the following components (Clark, Michel,
Zhdanova, Pui & Baltes, in press):
o Feeling compelled to work because of
internal pressures.
o Having persistent thoughts about work
when not working.
o Working beyond what is reasonably
expected of the worker (as established by
the requirements of the job or basic
economic needs)
Figure 2: Compulsive need to catch up in spite of being
on a holiday
Taking work to home and create a situation of non-
satisfactory conditions for wife and children is another
popular form of workaholic behavior. For such people the
work never ends and it stretches beyond imagination. An
all-consuming devotion to work is linked to a variety of
undesirable outcomes. Workaholism is linked to work-
family conflict, or having competing, and often conflicting
demands in one’s professional and private spheres. In turn,
work-family conflict can decrease satisfaction with one’s
family, or even one’s life as a whole. After all, if your
significant other or children are complaining that you’re
not present enough at home, and you’re simultaneously
feeling that you’re not living up to the demands of your
job; it can be a pretty stressful and conflicted existence.
Consequently, it’s not surprising that workaholism is also
linked to burnout.
The cumulative body of research supports the idea that
workaholism has negative consequences. As shown in
Figure 3, meta-analytic findings overwhelmingly show that
workaholism is associated with negative outcomes for the
individual, for the workaholic’s family, and even for the
organization (Clark et al., in press). Some of the strongest
negative relationships were found between workaholism
and job stress, work-life conflict and burnout. One
particularly noteworthy finding from our meta-analysis was
that workaholism was not significantly related to
performance, which indicates that even though workaholics
may spend more time thinking about and physically
engaging in work than the average worker, this may not be
of any benefit to their employer. In contrast, meta-analytic
studies investigating the outcomes of work engagement
have found a positive association between work
engagement and many positive outcomes, including
improved organizational performance (Christian, Garza, &
Slaughter, 2011); a finding that further emphasizes the
differences between workaholism and work engagement.
Figure 3: Summary of significant outcomes of
workaholism. A positive sign (+)
indicates a significant positive relationship with
workaholism, a negative sign (-)
indicates a significant negative relationship, and ns
indicates a non significant
relationship. Adapted from Clark, Michel, Zhdanova,
Pui & Baltes (in press).
In science and practice, workaholism and work
engagement are often confused. Undoubtedly, the
behaviors of workaholics and engaged workers appear
similar because in both cases these individuals often work
harder and longer than other individuals. However,
research suggests there are several key differences between
workaholism and work engagement. One key difference
between workaholism and work engagement is the
motivations underlying these behaviors. Whereas engaged
workers are driven to work because they find it
intrinsically pleasurable, workaholics are driven to work
because they feel an inner compulsion to work feelings
that they “should” be working (Graves, Ruderman, Ohlott
& Weber, 2012). Although the research on this topic is still
in its infancy, several studies have found support for the
idea that workaholism and work engagement are related to
different motivational underpinnings (Clark, Hunter,
Beiler-May & Carlson, 2015; van Beek, Hu, Schaufeli,
Taris, & Schreurs, 2012; van Beek, Taris, Schaufeli, &
Brenninkmeijer, 2014).
Second, workaholics and engaged workers appear to
experience very different emotions. For example, in a two-
wave study of working adults, we found that workaholism
was related to the experience of negative discrete emotions
(i.e., guilt, anxiety, anger and disappointment) at work and
home, whereas work engagement was related to the
experience of positive discrete emotions (i.e., joviality,
attentiveness and self-assurance) at work and home (Clark,
Michel, Stevens Howell, & Scruggs, 2013). Additionally, it
was found that workaholics reported feeling less joviality
and self-assurance at work. These findings are in line with
a taxonomy of work-related well-being presented by
Schaufeli (2013), who posited that engaged workers
experience pleasant activated emotions (e.g., excited,
happy, enthusiastic) while workaholics experience
unpleasant activated emotions (e.g., irritated, hostile,
The cumulative body of research suggests that
workaholism is primarily linked with negative outcomes,
and work engagement is primarily linked with positive
outcomes. By definition workaholism makes it difficult to
psychologically detach from work, and can interfere with
the individual’s ability to recharge and recover from the
job. Apart from creating psychological challenges,
workaholism has also been shown to have physical
ramifications. For example, one study suggested that
workaholics have increased susceptibility to sleep
problems and heightened cardiovascular risk. Another
study of workers in the United States, Australia, and
Europe found that individuals who worked 55 or more
hours per week were more likely to develop heart disease
or suffer from a stroke than those who worked 35-40 hours
per week.
To help prevent your workaholic tendencies from
sabotaging your productivity, the following suggestions
can be tried out:
Set work hours and stick to them.
Schedule and commit to regular fresh air and
exercise (to help you sleep better).
Prioritize your work activities to start with those
that will yield the most productive results.
Say no to commitments requiring longer work
Don’t answer emails or phone calls outside of
your set work hours or when you’re on vacation.
Don’t forget to schedule family, friend and
community social time.
Workaholics who are also entrepreneurs are especially at
risk for sleep problems, elevated stress levels, and poor
personal and work relationships due to impatience with
others. After all, you don’t have a boss to help curb your
workaholic tendencies. It’s up to you to change your
behavior. Remember, workaholic tendencies may not only
hamper today’s productivity, it may even work against
your future business success.
Here are three more subtle differences between
workaholics and high performers:
1. High performers know their value. Workaholics allow
others to determine their value.
"A high performer knows their self-worth and can thus
work with a sense a freedom". They do periodic self-
evaluations of their performance so that they can constantly
improve. And, "they create their own feedback loops rather
than waiting on feedback from others." A workaholic, on
the other hand, relies on external validation from those
around them: bosses, colleagues, and clients. They wait for
external evaluations, such as mid-year or annual reviews,
to understand how well they are doing, which causes them
to work with a constant sense of fear.
2. High performers give 100% at the right time.
Workaholics give 110% all of the time.
A high performer knows when to "turn it up." They know
when they're expected or required to give everything they
have and they save their energy for those occasions."
They don't buy into the illusion of 110%," he says. "They
know that 110% is unsustainable. Instead they focus on
increasing their capacity so that their 100% is better than
the competition's 110%." A workaholic attempts to go all
out, all the time. "They have difficulty prioritizing what's
important; therefore, everything is important in their
3. High performers take initiative. Workaholics are
A high performer plans out their day in advance to make
sure they will get their most meaningful work done. Only
after they have completed these takes do they allow
themselves to shift focus to unplanned events. By contrast,
a workaholic's day is driven entirely by outside distractions
like reading emails and handling crises.
4. High performers do business. Workaholics are busy.
A high performer's primary goal is to do business. The only
thing that matters to them is results. If they can't see a way
to create value in the moment, they facilitate or strategize
instead. They know that like the economy, business comes
in waves, therefore they get ready during the dips so they
can capitalize during the upswings.
Figure: 4 Schematic overview of the workaholism field, including particular measurements, possible antecedents
and consequences (correlates) of workaholism, and potential treatment approaches
A schematic view of workaholism in an organization and
how interventions can help overcome problems is given
below in Figure 4.The antecedents will measure the cases
or factors leading to such behavior in organizations.
Various measurement tools are also depicted. How
workaholism can be detected or correlated to attitudes
towards work is also given. Finally on the RHS suggestions
as to how organizations can deal with such problems are
given. This is a useful framework for organization
Organizational intervention strategies are very important to
design the above. In the strategic planning model it is
clearly mentioned as to how organizations will interface
with employees and correct the organizational functions
and redirect them to organizational goals. Work attitudes
are important for an organization and good organizations
keep a continuous vigil on this.
All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. It also hurts
Jack’s health and has a negative impact on his relationships
and work life. Workaholic attitude involves a reluctance to
disengage from work that is evidenced by a tendency to
work or think about work anytime and anywhere.
Conceptual links made with the transactional model of
stress suggest that workaholics focus on work at the
expense of personal relationships. A healthy attitude
towards work and doing it with good spirits is important
for achieving productivity and operational efficiency.
Current working environment is demanding, but an analyst
will tell you that the environment has always been
challenging. Productivity has always been a concern of
particularly manufacturing firms where more people are
employed and the need to utilize them is challenging.
Somewhere along the line the misconception has given
way, that the more engaged people are they contribute to
improve production and productivity. Some workmen and
supervisors were smitten by this fancy to be occupied
always in work related activities without considering the
contribution of those activities to improved production or
productivity. Such workaholic behavior is causing concern.
We have seen in the literature review that such behaviors
not only affect productivity but also the long term
motivation and health of employees. With the competitive
pressures in all facets of manufacturing, marketing and
planning, the companies are waking up to this reality that
working too much is not good for the employees as well as
for the employer, considering the long term implications.
Companies, through training and induction programs have
to educate the employees regarding proper attitudes
towards work and leisure activities.
As consequences, the employee’s professional and private
lives and health are affected. The various forms of
afflictions have been described in the review of literature.
The purpose of taking employment is to take care of the
families and have a good life for self and members of the
family. If this basic premise is threatened by workaholic
attitudes, the concerned employee and the company should
jointly take immediate steps to get to the root of the
problem and create appropriate organizational intervention
strategies and actions. Any delay or passive attitude in this
regard has grave consequences for the employee and the
Various suggestions for immediate identification of
workaholism and taking up immediate actions have been
suggested. Corporate intervention can start with defining
the ideal working hours and create policies to implement.
Working more should be replaced by working to schedule
and completing assignments on time. Any tendency for
departure from the norms should be nipped in the bud. The
sooner it is realized that workaholism is a disease, the
better for the organization.
Figure 5: can we stop this?!
New phenomena specific to the times we live in such as
globalization, the socio-economic crisis can generate
pressures upon employees and organization management.
Work ethics and organizational culture encourages work
and implicitly work addiction developing into an
addiction, the latest buzz word in the world of addiction.
The support of the family and friends, keeping equilibrium
between family and professional life, and prioritization can
reduce the degree of work addiction. A serious analysis of
an unhealthy organization, which encourages work
addiction, can reveal communication issues, unsolved or
unknown conflicts, unrealistic tasks or deadlines, a poor
management, a poor control of the leadership, high-level
stress. Modern organizations are confronted with new
challenges which organizational management must
properly manage. And sometimes the solutions are not so
hard to find unless we find the equilibrium in all we do.
One exciting future research direction is understanding
workaholism in a dynamic sense. In a recent study aimed at
understanding momentary workaholism using experience
sampling methodology, it was found 46 percent of the
variance in workaholism was attributable to within-person
variance (Clark et al., 2015). Additionally, workaholics
reported greater negative emotions on days they also
reported greater workaholism (Clark et al., 2015). Yet, we
still do not know how these relationships play out in terms
of discrete work or family events. For example, do
workaholics experience fleeting moments of joy when they
are working on a work task? Future research could also
examine the contextual factors (e.g., organizational
expectations, leader behavior) that may foster momentary
workaholic tendencies.
Although there have been some promising advances
recently in the study of workaholism, there is still much we
do not yet know. Future research is needed to understand
the role of organizational factors, such as a climate for
overwork, in fostering and reinforcing employee
workaholic behaviors. Longitudinal research on the
outcomes of workaholism is sorely needed. Given the
changing nature of the workplace, it is even more
important than ever before to understand the antecedents
and consequences of workaholism. Technology advances
(e.g., smart phones, company-supplied laptops) have
allowed employees potentially unlimited access to their
work, and changes in where work occurs (e.g.,
telecommuting) may further blur the lines between work
and home. Given that technology and work may be
mutually reinforcing addiction patterns (Porter &
Kakabadse, 2006), future research should consider the
ramifications of the changing nature of work as well as
changing technology (e.g., increasing popularity of smart
phones) on workaholics.
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... With its high prevalence of ranging from 8.3 to 23% [1], work addiction (WA) has caused substantial negative impacts on the functioning of not only employees [2] but also their organizations [3]. Although work is a necessary part of most people's lives, WA may bring some benefits (e.g., organizational recognition and financial compensation) to the addicts and it is generally regarded as a type of behavioral addiction [4]. ...
... Prior studies have provided empirical evidence that workaholics frequently experience heightened general anxiety and poorer health status which have raised social concerns about employees' well-being in both occupational and personal domains [16,72]. Together with our study's findings, organizations should be made aware that the long-term losses (e.g., poor job performance, more sickness absences, and increased job burnout as well as work-family conflict) associated with WA may cost more than its short-term benefits (e.g., long work hours, high work involvement and commitment, and high efficiency), resulting in less sustainable productivity [3,73,74]. Our findings have added to the empirical evidence regarding associated risk of WA and warranted organizations to further allocate resources to support interventions (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy, rational emotive cognitive therapy, or meditation awareness training) [75] on mitigating WA for their long-term success. ...
... Indeed, impaired functioning has been regarded as the most prominent diagnostic criteria for behavioral addictions in ICD-11 [77]. Organizational policies including setting flexible work schedules, restricting work hours per day (e.g., 8 h or less), promoting employees' awareness of health problems associated with WA, as well as improving time management and preventive behaviors [3,75,78,79] should be considered as part of the WA-mitigation program. Results of our network analysis also demonstrated that WA-problems, WA-mood modification, and GA-mouth dryness were three bridge symptoms connecting different clusters of WA and general anxiety symptoms. ...
Full-text available
Background Work addiction (WA) threatens occupation-related health in many countries including China. This research aims to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of Bergen Work Addiction Scale (BWAS), the most common measure of WA, to facilitate relevant studies in Chinese workers. A network analysis was further conducted to identify central and bridge symptoms within the WA-anxiety network to improve intervention practices. Methods A total of 694 Chinese white-collar workers completed an online questionnaire survey in March of 2022, and the responses to BWAS from a subsample of 50 participants one month after this survey were also collected. Results The unidimensionality of BWAS was supported by results of exploratory factor analysis, exploratory graph analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis and we found satisfactory internal consistency and acceptable test-retest reliability. Multiple-group factor analyses confirmed the measurement invariance of BWAS across genders, districts (i.e., central China, eastern China, western China, and northeastern China), and age groups (i.e., young and middle-aged adults) while the convergent validity of BWAS was demonstrated by its significant correlations with Dutch Work Addiction Scale (r = 0.62, p < 0.001) and its criterion validity was indicated by its significant correlations with general anxiety, weekly work hours, and health status (r = -0.16 to 0.31, p < 0.001–0.01). Network analysis further revealed two central symptoms (WA-tolerance and WA-problems) and three bridge symptoms (WA-problems, WA-mood modification, and mouth dryness of general anxiety) maintaining the WA-anxiety comorbidity. Conclusions Our findings suggest that BWAS is a valid measure of WA in Chinese workers and interventions should put special attention to the identified central and bridge symptoms underlying the WA-anxiety network.
... The main difference between both is related to motivation, the trigger of behaviors. Briefly, workaholics feel an internal compulsion to work, whereas engaged workers see the act of working as intrinsically pleasurable (Subramanian 2018). ...
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Workaholism phenomenon affects a quarter of the employed world population. The concept has been used to describe hardworking employees, which is not resulting from external requirements. Considering that organizations with well-developed workplace spirituality have employees more committed to achieving self-development, but also to serve the company, the relationship between workaholism and workplace spirituality is not straightforward, remaining unclear. The principal aim of this research is to analyze the workaholism phenomenon, considering patterns of workaholic and non-workaholic workers and their relationships with dimensions of workplace spirituality. The sample is comprised of a heterogeneous group of 306 Portuguese employees, who were surveyed by the Workaholism Battery, five dimensions of Workplace Spirituality, and a socio-demographic questionnaire. Cluster analysis defined three workaholic profiles (24% of the sample), and five non-workaholic profiles. Workplace spirituality dimensions differed according to worker profile and associations with work involvement, work enjoyment, and compulsive work addiction. Enthusiastic addicts and work enthusiasts showed the highest workplace spirituality, contrasting mainly with Reluctant hard worker, Disenchanted workers, and Unengaged workers, but also with work addicts. Workaholism is a complex and multidimensional phenomenon, whose dimensions are distinctly related to workplace spirituality. Workplace spirituality development can promote a more balanced and healthy relationship with work.
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While the academic literature acknowledges that workaholism may result from individual characteristics as well as from environmental factors, little is known about the joint impact of these two kinds of antecedents. The present study explores whether the interaction between the perception of an overwork climate in the workplace and person characteristics (i.e., achievement motivation, perfectionism, conscientiousness, self-efficacy) may foster workaholism. Data were collected on a sample of 333 Dutch employees. The results of moderated regression analyses fully supported our hypotheses and showed that the interaction between an overwork climate and person characteristics is related to workaholism. More specifically, our results revealed a significant increase in workaholism when employees both possessed person characteristics that predispose them toward workaholism and perceived an overwork climate in their workplaces. In addition, conscientiousness and self-efficacy were related to workaholism, but only in interaction with the presence of an overwork climate. These results contribute to the ongoing conceptualization of workaholism by demonstrating empirically that a work environment characterized by an overwork climate may foster workaholism, especially for those high in achievement motivation, perfectionism, conscientiousness, and self-efficacy.
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Although much has been written about “workaholism,” rigorous research and theoretical development on the topic is in its infancy. We integrate literature from multiple disciplines and offer a definition of workaholic behavior. We identify three types of workaholic behavior patterns: compulsive-dependent, perfectionist, and achievement-oriented workaholism. A preliminary model is proposed; it identifies potential linkages between each type of workaholism pattern and important outcomes such as performance, job and life satisfaction, and turnover. Specific propositions for future research are articulated. We conclude that, depending on the type of workaholic behavior pattern, workaholism can be good or bad, and its consequences may be experienced or evaluated differently by individuals, organizations, and society at large. Researchers and managers should avoid making judgments about the positive or negative effects of workaholism until more carefully controlled research has been published.
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The authors examined the effects of two types of motivation, driven to work and enjoyment of work, on managers’ (N = 346) performance, career satisfaction, and psychological strain. Performance was assessed using 360-degree performance ratings. The authors also tested the effects of self-esteem on the two motives. They found that the enjoyment motive was positively related to career satisfaction and performance and negatively related to strain. Driven to work had no main effects but appeared to interact with enjoyment of work to influence performance and strain. When enjoyment of work was high, driven to work was unrelated to performance or strain. When enjoyment of work was low, increases in driven to work were associated with increases in both performance and strain. Self-esteem was positively related to enjoyment of work and negatively related to driven to work. Overall, the authors’ findings suggest that being motivated by enjoyment of work facilitates both effectiveness and well-being.
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This study examines the mechanisms through which workaholism and work engagement impact work-home conflict and enrichment, respectively. Specifically, we examine the mediating role of positive and negative emotions (e.g. joviality and guilt) in the relationship between workaholism, work engagement and work-home outcomes. Results, based on a sample of 340 working adults participating in a two-wave study, indicate that negative emotions-particularly anxiety, anger and disappointment-mediate the relationship between workaholism and work-home conflict and positive emotions-particularly joviality and self-assurance-mediate the relationship between work engagement and work-home enrichment. These results provide further evidence that workaholism and work engagement are related to distinct sets of emotional variables and disparate work and home outcomes. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Even though it has been over 20 years since Spence and Robbins (1992) first showed perfectionism and workaholism to be closely related, the relationship between perfectionism and workaholism is still under-researched. In particular, it has remained unclear why perfectionism is linked to workaholism. Using data from 131 employees, this study—examining self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism—investigated whether intrinsic-extrinsic work motivation could explain the positive relationship between perfectionism and workaholism. Whereas socially prescribed perfectionism was unrelated to workaholism, self-oriented perfectionism showed a positive correlation with workaholism. Furthermore autonomous (integrated and identified regulation) and controlled (introjected and external regulation) work motivation showed positive correlations. However, when all predictors were entered in a regression analysis, only self-oriented perfectionism, identified regulation, and introjected regulation positively predicted workaholism. In addition, a mediation analysis showed that identified and introjected regulation fully mediated the effect of self-oriented perfectionism on workaholism. The findings suggest that high levels of work motivation explain why many self-oriented perfectionists are workaholic.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to offer a counter‐intuitive conceptual framework to the study and the management of workaholism. The paper proposes that the phenomenon can be constructive, generating welcoming outcomes for individuals, organizations and societies. Design/methodology/approach A set of propositions about workaholism and its management under various contexts is presented and discussed. Findings Workaholics should not be labeled as problematic addicts. Workaholism should not be automatically taken as negative and be suppressed. If the culture is positive towards workaholism, offer alternatives. Research limitations/implications The framework has a number of practical implications such as reconsidering the negative stigmatization of workaholic employees . Practical implications The framework should be useful for managers in dealing with workaholics at work. Originality/value The paper develops a framework that enables “out of the box” thinking of workaholism.
The process of exchange is almost continual in human interactions, and appears to have characteristics peculiar to itself, and to generate affect, motivation, and behavior that cannot be predicted unless exchange processes are understood. This chapter describes two major concepts relating to the perception of justice and injustice; the concept of relative deprivation and the complementary concept of relative gratification. All dissatisfaction and low morale are related to a person's suffering injustice in social exchanges. However, a significant portion of cases can be usefully explained by invoking injustice as an explanatory concept. In the theory of inequity, both the antecedents and consequences of perceived injustice have been stated in terms that permit quite specific predictions to be made about the behavior of persons entering social exchanges. Relative deprivation and distributive justice, as theoretical concepts, specify some of the conditions that arouse perceptions of injustice and complementarily, the conditions that lead men to feel that their relations with others are just. The need for much additional research notwithstanding, the theoretical analyses that have been made of injustice in social exchanges should result not only in a better general understanding of the phenomenon, but should lead to a degree of social control not previously possible. The experience of injustice need not be an accepted fact of life.
This article presents a brief review of the research on workaholism and the family and offers a typology of workaholism that more adequately portrays the various work styles of workaholics than have past classifications. This typology, which is based on level of work initiation and work completion, denotes 4 types of workaholics: relentless, bulimic, attention-deficit, and savoring. Implications of this typology for the practice of counseling are proposed.
Purpose – The present study aims to investigate the motivational correlates of two types of heavy work investment: workaholism and work engagement. Building on Higgins's regulatory focus theory, the paper examines which work goals workaholic and engaged employees pursue and which strategies they use to achieve these goals. Furthermore, the paper examines how workaholism and work engagement relate to three different work outcomes: job satisfaction, turnover intention, and job performance. Design/methodology/approach – Data from a cross-sectional survey study among 680 Dutch employees in the banking industry were analysed using structural equation modeling. Findings – The analyses revealed that workaholism was primarily and positively associated with having a prevention focus, whereas work engagement was primarily and positively associated with having a promotion focus. Furthermore, workaholism was negatively related to job satisfaction and job performance, and positively related to turnover intention, whereas work engagement was positively associated with job satisfaction and job performance, and negatively associated with turnover intention. Both forms of heavy work investment almost fully mediated the associations between the regulatory foci and the three work outcomes. Research limitations/implications – The conclusions rely on self-report data, a relatively homogeneous sample, and a cross-sectional design. This may have biased our findings to some degree and does not allow inferring causal conclusions. Practical implications – The findings show that workaholic and engaged employees have different work goals and use different strategies to pursue these goals. Moreover, both forms of heavy work investment are oppositely related to work outcomes. Organizations may develop policies to reduce workaholism and to promote work engagement by influencing their employees' regulatory foci. Originality/value – The present study demonstrates that two types of heavy work investment can be distinguished, each with a unique motivational make-up and a unique pattern of work outcomes.
Purpose To explore whether workaholism seems to be a pre‐requisite for success in the high‐technology industry. Design/methodology/approach Survey results from a team of fourteen managers are used as a case study, to examine tendencies believed to relate to workaholism. A variety of cross comparisons are presented as scatter plots to frame the discussion, along with composite profiles of individual managers. Findings While some of the managers seemed to represent the archetypal workaholic, some were quite the opposite. Others classified as either moderate or at‐risk. Research limitations/implications Study took place within one company and using measures taken within a relatively short time span of several months. Statistical comparisons were not possible with a group of 14. The management group was exclusively male, eliminating any potential for gender comparisons. Practical implications These managers had proven success within the same company and a high demand industry. Yet some did not display workaholic characteristics, refuting the idea that a demanding and fast‐paced environment requires one must be a workaholic to succeed. Originality/value Multiple measurement scales are used to develop composite profiles based on various aspects suggesting workaholism. This is an important examination of differences among managers within a context often cited as supporting, or perhaps requiring, workaholic tendencies. These examples indicate that employees need not sacrifice all else for work in order to get ahead.