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Competitive climate and workaholism: Negative sides of future orientation and calling

Andreas Hirschi

Keller, A., Spurk, D., Baumeler, F., & Hirschi, A. (2016). Competitive climate and workaholism: Negative sides of future orientation and calling. Personality and Individual Differences, 96, 122-126, doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.02.061


The perception of a competitive climate at work creates stress, uncertainty, and a desire to outperform colleagues. In this study, we investigated whether a competitive climate is associated with increased workaholism. Furthermore, we assumed that especially employees with a future orientation and a presence of a calling will show more workaholic behavior when a competitive climate is present. Hierarchical regression analyses among 812 employees in Germany confirmed our hypotheses: Competitive climate was positively related with workaholism and was stronger related to workaholism under conditions of high future orientation and high calling. These findings suggest that contextual factors at work and individual factors interact to form workaholism. Our results may be explained by the experience of more uncertainty in competitive work climates for individuals with high future orientation and the presence of a calling. Consequently, these employees may invest more physical and cognitive efforts into their work to cope with the competition.