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Beyond workaholism: differences between heavy work investment (HWI) subtypes in well-being and health-related outcomes

Raphael Snir (School of Management and Economics, Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
Itzhak Harpaz (Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel, Emek Yezreel, Israel)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 21 May 2021

Issue publication date: 22 June 2021




The purpose of this paper is to explore well-being and health-related outcomes among all the four basic subtypes of heavy work investment (HWI), as well as a fifth distinct category of full-time workers (i.e. those who work from 35 to 43 weekly hours).


The 510 respondents chosen to be included in the Internet survey were mostly heavy work investors. Based on two dimensions of causal attributions (causal locus and controllability), an elimination mode was used to classify heavy work investors into four main subtypes. Those who reported high financial needs were classified as needy. From the remaining heavy work investors, those who reported high organizational demands were classified as organization-directed. Afterward, those who reported high drive to work were classified as workaholics. Finally, those who reported high passion for work were classified as work-devoted.


Among the five categories of classified respondents, the work-devoted and the needy emerged as the most distinct categories. The work-devoted had the best outcomes (stronger positive feelings, better current health condition, better body mass index (BMI) and adequate hours of sleep a night), whereas the needy had the worst outcomes (a higher level of stress, bodily pain, aches that interfere with regular activities and weariness throughout the day).


This study addressed both long hours and high effort invested in work, and both dispositional and situational heavy work investors. A possible implication of this study is that when job applicants have similar human capital profiles, organizations should consider recruitment of work-devoted individuals for demanding jobs.



The contribution of the National Insurance Institute of Israel to this research is gratefully acknowledged.


Snir, R. and Harpaz, I. (2021), "Beyond workaholism: differences between heavy work investment (HWI) subtypes in well-being and health-related outcomes", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 332-349.



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