chapter  17
19 Pages

Bring Your Parents to the Job Interview: Intergenerational Similarity in (Heavy) Work Investment


Snir and Harpaz (2012), who introduced the concept of Heavy Work Investment (HWI), maintain that both long hours and substantial effort are its core dimensions. Effort means the amount of either physical or mental energy allocated to work (Becker, 1985). They distinguish two major types of heavy work investment. The fi rst is situational, stemming from external and uncontrollable predictors. At least in the short range, external predictors such as basic fi nancial needs (e.g., to support one’s family, pay debts), and a demanding supervisor or organizational culture (e.g., the overtime culture in high-tech organizations, and among hospital physicians) are uncontrollable. The second major type of heavy work investment is dispositional, stemming from personal characteristics. Snir and Harpaz (2012) further distinguish two subtypes of dispositional heavy work investment, for instance workaholism, which is based on an addiction to work (an internal, negative, uncontrollable, and stable predictor), and work devotion as an expression of a passion for work (an internal, positive, controllable, and stable predictor). Work devotion is similar to Spence and Robbins’s (1992) concept of work enthusiasm, as well as to the concept of work engagement, which refers to a positive, fulfi lling, work-related state of mind characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption (Schaufeli, Shimazu, & Taris, 2009; Schaufeli, Taris, & Bakker, 2006). According to Snir and Harpaz (2012), the difference between addiction and passion for work is similar to the distinction of Vallerand, Blanchard, Mageau, Koestner, Ratelle, Leonard, and Gagne (2003) between Obsessive Passion and

Harmonious Passion. Obsessive Passion occurs when individuals feel compelled to engage in an activity because of internal contingencies that control them; whereas Harmonious Passion occurs when individuals have freely accepted an activity as important to them without any contingencies attached to it.