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Relating work engagement and workaholism to entrepreneurial performance

Marjan J. Gorgievski (Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Juan Antonio Moriano (Department of Social and Organizational Psychology, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Madrid, Spain)
Arnold B. Bakker (Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 4 February 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

Building on the dualistic approach to passion, the aim of this paper was to examine how work engagement and workaholism relate to entrepreneurs' performance (innovative behavior, business growth, and subjective business performance).

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-sectional survey data of 180 Spanish entrepreneurs were analyzed using partial least squares modeling.

Findings

Evidence was found for a dual affective pathway to performance. Work engagement related favorably to performance through its relationship with more positive affect and less negative affect. Workaholism related to more negative affect, which in turn related negatively to performance. After controlling for affective states, both work engagement and workaholism still had a direct and positive association with innovative behavior.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations are the cross-sectional design and the reliance on self-report measures; although self-reports of business growth can be considered indicative of objective business performance. Bi-directional relationships between the study variables seem plausible. The dualistic approach to passion is a sound theoretical basis for future research on drivers and consequences of work engagement and workaholism.

Practical implications

The findings imply that entrepreneurial success can be enhanced by improving entrepreneurs' emotion-regulation strategies to manage their affective states. Workaholics especially would benefit from such strategies.

Social implications

Improving entrepreneurial performance has value for society via counteracting economic decline and creation of wealth and jobs.

Originality/value

This study adds to our limited understanding of the consequences of work engagement and workaholism. It addresses entrepreneurs, who are an under researched occupational group.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Theresa McGovern for correcting their spelling and grammar.

Citation

J. Gorgievski, M., Antonio Moriano, J. and B. Bakker, A. (2014), "Relating work engagement and workaholism to entrepreneurial performance", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 106-121. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-06-2012-0169

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited