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Slippery rock Gazette
July 2021|7
Additionally, Scott et al (1997) proposed three types of worka- holic behavior patterns:
• Compulsive-dependent.
This individual positively re- lates to levels of anxiety, stress, and physical and psychological problems, which are negatively related to job performance and job and life satisfaction. The compulsion to work shows de- pendence on the work as the in- dividual works excessively and irrationally. Even when the in- dividual realizes the excess, he is unable to control himself and allow himself to reduce his workload.
•Perfectionism. This is posi- tively related to stress, physical and psychological problems, hostile interpersonal relation- ships, low job satisfaction, poor performance and volun- tary turnover and absenteeism. This goes back to the con- trol characteristic listed above as the individual wants to re- main in control in a rigid and non-flexible way.
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Is the individual masking an underlying trauma and work is a way to cope?
 Workaholism or Work Lover?
of addictive behaviors like food, drugs, and alcohol, but what do we know about the addictive behavior of a workaholic? One would think if an individual were addicted to work the employee would be an asset to the organization. Many researchers portray workaholics positively and suggest that the participants in their studies were very satisfied and productive. Other researchers, however, de- pict workaholics as obsessive, un- happy, tragic individuals who are not performing their jobs well and who create difficulties for their co-workers. Would understand- ing the characteristics and types of workaholics allow us to better manage the effects of these indi- viduals in our organizations? Is it better to understand the underly- ing why of this addiction? Is the individual masking an underlying trauma and work is a way to cope? Is workaholism due to cultural or
and vitality that is often driven by competitiveness. They con- stantly compare themselves to others.
•Control – the addicted individ- ual needs to be in control of ev- erything they do and their work environment. Lack of control makes them feel extremely un- comfortable. This makes if dif- ficult to delegate tasks when they prefer to personally control the situation.
•Excessive habits – they work harder than asked. The worka- holic has good short-term per- formance, but because they have such high expectations of them- selves, they tend to have increas- ingly difficult and unattainable goals creating long-term prob- lems that result in a sense of failure.
•Different interpersonal rela- tionships – they are concerned with their own work, but not with the relationship of others at work. Their lack of communica- tion makes it harder to relate to others and delegate tasks; work- ing on a team is seen only as an obligation for them.
often hear about the
Cheryl A. Moore, PsyD
CEO, Prestige Countertops & Services
economic factors? To better an- swer these questions, let’s look at what researchers suggest about this addiction.
Oates (1971) originally coined the term workaholism and de- fined it as a compulsion, neces- sity, and uncontrolled addiction to perform work relentlessly. Spence and Robbins (1992) con- curred as the authors defined the workaholic as a person who “is highly work involved, feels com- pelled or driven to work because of inner pressures, and is low in enjoyment at work” (p. 62). So, how do we know that the individ- ual is a workaholic and not just an over worker? Researchers have suggested that the over worker knows the boundaries between work and personal life and feel
good when they are not at work. It is common for a workaholic to take work home, work while on vacation, and even continue to work when sick. Psychosocial damage can occur in a worka- holic because of excessive work rhythms and an uncontrolla- ble motivation to work. The in- dividual devotes so much time and effort to work that it ends up harming other important areas of life.
To establish common character- istics and a profile for the work- aholic individual, Salanova et al (2007) suggested some common characteristics among them:
• Great importance of work – the addicted individual expresses a great significance to work. Everything revolves around work and work becomes the most im- portant thing in life, more than family, friends, and free time.
• Intensity and vitality – work- aholics have a lot of energy
studies and effects

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