New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 24: Workaholism in Organizations: Work and Well-being Consequences
1 Ronald J. Burke Although the popular press has paid considerable attention to workaholism (Fassel, 1990; Garﬁeld, 1987; Kiechel, 1989a, 1989b; Killinger, 1991; Klaft and Kleiner, 1988; Machlowitz, 1980; Waddell, 1993), very little research has been undertaken to further our understanding of it. Most writing has been anecdotal and clinical (Fassel, 1990; Killinger, 1991; Oates, 1971; Schaef and Fassel, 1988). Basic questions of deﬁnition have not been addressed and measurement concerns have been avoided (Scott et al., 1997).2 It should come as no surprise, then, that opinions, observations and conclusions about workaholism are both varied and conﬂicting. Some writers view workaholism positively from an organizational perspective (Korn et al., 1987; Machlowitz, 1980; Sprankle and Ebel, 1987). Machlowitz (1980) conducted a qualitative interview study of 100 workaholics and found them to be very satisﬁed and productive. Others view workaholism negatively (Killinger, 1991; Schaef and Fassel, 1988; Oates, 1971). These writers equate workaholism with other addictions and depict workaholics as unhappy, obsessive, tragic ﬁgures who are not performing their jobs well and are creating diﬃculties for their co-workers (Naughton, 1987; Oates, 1971; Porter, 1996). The ﬁrst group would advocate the encouragement of workaholism; the second would discourage it. Some researchers have proposed the existence of diﬀerent types of workaholic behaviour patterns, each having potentially diﬀerent antecedents and associations with job performance, work and life outcomes (Naughton, 1987; Scott et al., 1997; Spence and Robbins, 1992). Naughton (1987) presents a typology of workaholism based on...
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