Handbook of Employee Engagement
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Handbook of Employee Engagement

Perspectives, Issues, Research and Practice

Edited by Simon L. Albrecht

The Handbook presents comprehensive and global perspectives to help researchers and practitioners identify, understand, evaluate and apply the key theories, models, measures and interventions associated with employee engagement. It provides many new insights, practical applications and areas for future research. It will serve as an important platform for ongoing research and practice on employee engagement.
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Chapter 22: Passion for Work: Work Engagement versus Workaholism

Marjan J. Gorgievski and Arnold B. Bakker


Marjan J. Gorgievski and Arnold B. Bakker Introduction Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) Is passion needed for excellent performance? The question of what predicts outstanding performance at work remains timely and relevant. The term “passion for work” emerged from qualitative research on entrepreneurs’ motivation, and has been defined as a selfish, passionate love for the work (Shane et al., 2003). Passion for work has been proposed as key to understanding entrepreneurial behavior and performance. Passion is “the enthusiasm, joy, and even zeal that come from the energetic and unflagging pursuit of a worthy, challenging and uplifting purpose” (Smilor, 1997, p. 3421). However, few attempts have been made so far as to operationalize the construct, let alone relate it to entrepreneurial behavior. The current chapter aims to fill this void, by focusing on work engagement and workaholism as two motivational concepts indicating “passion for work”. In doing so, we follow a dualistic approach analogous to that of Vallerand and his colleagues (Vallerand et al., 2003; Vallerand, 2008), who studied the psychology of passion toward activities in other life domains such as sports and gambling. We shall first clarify the concepts of work engagement and workaholism, and summarize new empirical evidence on the relationship between work engagement, workaholism and job performance among self-employed individuals versus salaried employees. Finally, we shall outline implications for future research and practice. Work engagement versus workaholism Passion towards activities has been defined as a strong inclination...

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