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The impact of work engagement and workaholism on well-being: The role of work-related social support

Gaëtane Caesens (Institute of Psychological Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
Florence Stinglhamber (Institute of Psychological Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
Gaylord Luypaert (Institute of Psychological Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 4 November 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper are twofold. First, the authors examined the effects of two types of working hard (i.e. work engagement, workaholism) on employees’ well-being (i.e. job satisfaction, perceived stress, and sleep problems). Second, the authors tested the extent to which both types of working hard mediate the relationship between three types of work-related social support (i.e. perceived organizational support, perceived supervisor support, and perceived coworker support) and employees’ well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire was administered to 343 PhD students.

Findings

Results revealed that work engagement mediates the relationships between perceived organizational support and job satisfaction and perceived stress. Perceived organizational support has also a direct positive impact on job satisfaction and a direct negative impact on perceived stress and sleep problems. Furthermore, work engagement mediates the influence of perceived supervisor support on job satisfaction and perceived stress. Finally, workaholism was found to mediate the relationships between perceived coworker support, and job satisfaction, perceived stress, and sleep problems.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that managers should promote practices in order to foster work engagement and prevent workaholism. In line with this, the findings indicated that the most powerful source of support that fosters work engagement is perceived supervisor support. Organizations should, therefore, train their supervisors to be supportive in their role of directing, evaluating and coaching subordinates or encourage supervisors to have regular meetings with their subordinates. Additionally, the results showed that perceived coworker support is the only source of work-related social support that has a negative influence on workaholism. Managers should foster coworker support, for instance by encouraging informal mentoring among employees in order to build a strong social network.

Originality/value

Because scholars argued that each type of work-related social support might have different consequences and might vary in terms of strength of associations with their outcomes, the study aimed to examine the concomitant effects of three forms of work-related social support on two types of working hard which, in turn, influence employees’ well-being.

Keywords

Citation

Caesens, G., Stinglhamber, F. and Luypaert, G. (2014), "The impact of work engagement and workaholism on well-being: The role of work-related social support", Career Development International, Vol. 19 No. 7, pp. 813-835. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-09-2013-0114

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited