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The Antecedents of Workaholism and other Work Behaviors

Douglas, Evan J. & Morris, Robyn J. (2006) The Antecedents of Workaholism and other Work Behaviors. In Academy of Management Annual Conference, August, Atlanta, GA.

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Abstract

This paper presents a conceptual model of the work effort decision of individuals and thereby advances our understanding of workaholism and other patterns of high or low work involvement and high or low work enjoyment. Researchers have categorized eight main types of work behaviors using the triad (i) quantity of work effort supplied, (ii) psychic need to work, and (iii) enjoyment derived from work. Workaholics (or work addicts), ‘enthusiastic workaholics’ and work enthusiasts’ all work long hours but only the first two groups are driven by a psychic need to work, and only the latter two groups gain high enjoyment from work. While the positive and negative consequences of long work hours have been discussed at considerable length, the antecedents of the individual’s decision to supply work effort have not previously been explored in depth. We build a model that links together the three constructs of the ‘workaholism triad’ and also incorporates the individual’s economic orientation, leisure orientation, and perquisite orientation. Accordingly we distinguish four main drivers of work effort levels, and argue that only one of these is associated with the classic view of workaholism. We identify three distinct types of work enthusiast and thus extend the typology of workers to ten groups, and offer speculative reasons for the high/low work effort and work enjoyment levels associated with each group. We offer a series of propositions that are suggested by the conceptual model for further research into this important area.

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ID Code: 5535
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional Information: Access to the author-version is currently restricted pending permission from the publisher. For more information, please refer to the publisher’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
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Keywords: Douglas, E, entrepreneurship, workaholism, workaholics
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisational Planning and Management (150312)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Small Business Management (150314)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Academy of Management
Deposited On: 27 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 23:28

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