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Research Companion to Organizational Health Psychology

Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper

This timely Research Companion is essential reading to advance the understanding of healthy behaviours within working environments and to identify problems which can be the cause of illness. Containing both theoretical and empirical contributions written by distinguished academics working in Europe, North America and Australia, the book covers leading edge topics ranging from current theories of stress, stress management, and stress in specific occupational groups, such as doctors and teachers, to the relationship of stress with well-being. It provides systematic approaches towards practical actions and stress interventions in working environments and a solid theoretical framework for future research. It will be an essential companion to research on psychology and medicine as well as stress.
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Chapter 24: Workaholism in Organizations: Work and Well-being Consequences

Ronald J. Burke


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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