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A new perspective on workaholism: The role of personal and contextual career-related antecedents

Andreas Hirschi

Spurk, D., Hirschi, A., & Kauffeld, S. (in press). A new perspective on workaholism: The role of personal and contextual career-related antecedents. Journal of Career Assessment, 24(2), 747-764. doi: 10.1177/106907271561612751


Abstract

The aim of the present study was to present and test a model assuming that career-related variables might function as antecedents of workaholism—the tendency to work compulsively and excessively. More specifically, based on conservation of resource theory and social identity theory, the study tested whether personal (i.e., career insecurity, extrinsic career goals, and career commitment) and contextual variables (i.e., career barriers and perceived organizational support) are related to workaholism. We tested our assumptions by means of stepwise hierarchical regression analyses within a large sample of N = 685 scientists working in different occupational fields (e.g., social science, arts and humanities, economics, and science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in German research institutes and universities. The results showed that career insecurity, career barriers, career commitment, and extrinsic career goals were positively associated, and perceived organizational support was negatively associated, with workaholism. Furthermore, the set of analyzed career variables showed incremental validity and explained a significant portion of variance in workaholism beyond control variables (i.e., gender, age, work hours, and occupational field) and personality (i.e., extroversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism).