Is Work Addiction a Proper Label for High Work Investment Habits?
Publications on workaholism have traditionally begun with discussion of different views on outcomes being positive, negative, or both. To alleviate some of this confusion, some authors have used the term “work addiction” to indicate their positioning on the negative outcome side of this debate. Others question whether it is appropriate to use the word addiction when there is not a physiological root cause, as with alcohol and drugs. While there is general acceptance of some behaviors as pathological, such as gambling (APA, 2000), there is ongoing debate on use of the term addiction. This controversy is not limited to study of workaholism but, rather, repeats in research on internet use, shopping/buying, sex, gambling, indoor tanning, and other involvements that become diffi cult to self-regulate. The goal of this chapter is to review some conclusions about the terminology of addiction from various fi elds of study and, further, to consider what research on workaholism might look like if actually pursued under the premise of addiction.