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I hate my workplace but I am very attached to it: workplace attachment style: An exploratory approach

Fabrizio Scrima (Department of Psychology, Université de Rouen, Rouen, France)
Liliane Rioux (Department of Psychology, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, Nanterre, France)
Giovanni Di Stefano (Scienze Psicologiche, Pedagogiche e della Formazione, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Italy)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 7 August 2017



The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether different patterns of workplace attachment exist and to explore the relations between adult attachment styles and the level of workplace attachment.


Participants were 351 Italian employees who completed a questionnaire composed of the Workplace Attachment Scale and the Relationship Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using correspondence analysis.


The results showed that high scores on workplace attachment correlated significantly with secure attachment style, while low scores correlated with insecure attachment styles. These results shed light on different workplace attachment styles.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation in this study mostly concern the use of self-reporting instruments to measure the participants’ attachment style, since they may be susceptible to distortions. However, the distribution of attachment styles in this sample is similar to the worldwide distribution, which supports the authors’ choice.

Practical implications

To the extent that it is possible to identify a specific workplace attachment style, it should also be possible to change some of the human resource management practices inducing employees to develop a workplace secure attachment style.


Researchers tended to ignore the extension of the adult attachment behavioral system to examine core environmental relationships. The present study, applying attachment theory to workplace attachment, provides theoretical support that the bonds that an individual forms with workplace can be classified as attachment bonds.



Scrima, F., Rioux, L. and Di Stefano, G. (2017), "I hate my workplace but I am very attached to it: workplace attachment style: An exploratory approach", Personnel Review, Vol. 46 No. 5, pp. 936-949.



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