chapter  2
16 Pages

Personality Factors, Workaholism, and Heavy Work Investment


Workaholism, a progressive and compulsive disorder, is a common term in popular culture that describes individuals who are addicted to work. The general media has given considerable coverage to the concept of workaholism and long work hours over the past 40 years, with research on these topics slowly emerging and increasing. Clinical and anecdotal writing has exceeded empirical research efforts (Killinger, 1991; Waddell, 1993). The dearth of empirical research on this topic is surprising given all of the interest surrounding workaholism. The primary reasons for this neglect include issues of defi nition and measurement, and loose theories of workaholism have hampered research efforts (Buelens & Poelmans, 2004; Ersoy-Kart, 2005; McMillan, Brady, O’Driscoll, & Marsh, 2002; Scott, Moore, & Miceli, 1997). As a result, opinions, observations, and conclusions about workaholism and heavy work investments are both varied and confl icting. We believe that more research attention needs to be devoted to better understanding workaholism and heavy work investment, especially given that workaholism is typically associated with negative individual, family, and work outcomes (Burke & Cooper, 2008).