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The purpose of this paper is to evaluate whether employees’ tendency to work excessive hours is motivated by the perception of a work environment that encourages overwork …
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate whether employees’ tendency to work excessive hours is motivated by the perception of a work environment that encourages overwork (overwork climate). Thus, this study introduces a self-report questionnaire aimed at assessing the perception of a psychological climate for overwork in the workplace.
In Study 1, the overwork climate scale (OWCS) was developed and evaluated using principal component analysis (n=395) and confirmatory factor analysis (n=396). In Study 2, the total sample (n=791) was used to explore the association of the overwork climate with opposite types of working hard (work engagement and workaholism).
Two overwork climate dimensions were distinguished, namely, overwork endorsement and lacking overwork rewards. The lack of overwork rewards was negatively associated with engagement, whereas workaholism showed a strong positive association with overwork endorsement. These relationships remained significant after controlling for the impact of psychological job demands.
The findings rely on self-report data and a cross-sectional design.
The perception of a work environment that encourages overwork but does not allocate additional compensation seems to foster workaholism. Moreover, the inadequacy of overwork rewards constitutes a lack of resources that negatively affect employees’ engagement.
This study represents one of the first attempts to develop a questionnaire aimed at assessing a psychological climate for overwork and to explore whether the perception of this type of climate may be significantly related to workaholism and work engagement.
The purpose of this paper is to understand: how and why do experienced professionals, who perceive themselves as autonomous, comply with organizational pressures to…
The purpose of this paper is to understand: how and why do experienced professionals, who perceive themselves as autonomous, comply with organizational pressures to overwork? Unlike previous studies of professionals and overwork, the authors focus on experienced professionals who have achieved relatively high status within their firms and the considerable economic rewards that go with it. Drawing on the little used Bourdieusian concept of illusio, which describes the phenomenon whereby individuals are “taken in and by the game” (Bourdieu and Wacquant, 1992), the authors help to explain the “autonomy paradox” in professional service firms.
This research is based on 36 semi-structured interviews primarily with experienced male and female accounting professionals in France.
The authors find that, in spite of their levels of experience, success, and seniority, these professionals describe themselves as feeling helpless and trapped, and experience bodily subjugation. The authors explain this in terms of individuals enhancing their social status, adopting the breadwinner role, and obtaining and retaining recognition. The authors suggest that this combination of factors cause professionals to be attracted to and captivated by the rewards that success within the accounting profession can confer.
As well as providing fresh insights into the autonomy paradox the authors seek to make four contributions to Bourdieusian scholarship in the professional field. First, the authors highlight the strong bodily component of overwork. Second, the authors raise questions about previous work on cynical distancing in this context. Third, the authors emphasize the significance of the pursuit of symbolic as well as economic capital. Finally, the authors argue that, while actors’ habitus may be in a state of “permanent mutation”, that mutability is in itself a sign that individuals are subject to illusio.
This article discusses how the concepts of exploration and exploitation are fruitful for understanding individual fantasies of escape from the demands of contemporary…
This article discusses how the concepts of exploration and exploitation are fruitful for understanding individual fantasies of escape from the demands of contemporary workplaces. We examine one influential articulation of such fantasies, namely the best-selling self-help book “The 4-Hour Workweek.” This book advocates that individuals outsource the bulk of the routine (“exploitation”) tasks of their lives, leaving themselves free for creativity, play, and leisure (“exploration”). In this way, a radical separation of exploitation and exploration at the individual level is proposed. We examine the meanings and contradictions of such ideas by discussing how they may function as powerful escape fantasies for those facing corporate overwork. However, we argue that the solution proposed is unsatisfactory because of its individualism, which fails to see the inherently social nature of work and life.
The purpose of this paper is to assess the relative importance of personality and organizational climate for two forms of heavy work investment; workaholism, a “bad” and…
The purpose of this paper is to assess the relative importance of personality and organizational climate for two forms of heavy work investment; workaholism, a “bad” and work engagement, which represents a “good” kind of heavy work investment. More specifically, it is hypothesized that workaholism is positively related to neuroticism (H1) and that work engagement is negatively related to neuroticism and positively to the remaining Big Five personality traits (H2). In addition it is hypothesized that workaholism is positively related to an overwork climate (H3), whereas work engagement is positively related to an employee growth climate (H4).
An online survey was conducted among a sample of the Dutch workforce (n=1,973) and the research model was tested using structural equation modeling.
It appeared that, in accordance to H1 and H2, particularly neuroticism is related to workaholism, while all personality traits are related to work engagement (predominantly openness to experience and neuroticism). Moreover, and also in accordance with the hypotheses, workaholism is exclusively related to an overwork climate (and not to a growth climate), whereas work engagement is exclusively related to an employee growth climate (and not to an overwork climate).
For the first time the simultaneous impact of personality and organizational climate on two different forms of heavy work investment is investigated. Since no interaction effects have been observed it means that of personality and organizational climate have an independent but also specific impact on both forms of heavy work investment.
This chapter examines the ways in which some organizations overstep their bounds by making unlimited claims on their employees’ lives. Organizations that do this are…
This chapter examines the ways in which some organizations overstep their bounds by making unlimited claims on their employees’ lives. Organizations that do this are described as “greedy institutions,” using the term coined by sociologist Lewis Coser. Sullivan explains how modern technologies and other factors have enabled employers to make increasing claims on employees, extending the workday beyond its traditional limits and overworking the employees. Technologies such as smart phones have enabled employers to get greedier – often while appearing to do just the opposite. For example, an employer can appear to be generous to employees by issuing company-funded smart phones, but those smart phones become tethers that keep the employees attached to their work and their supervisors 24/7. Sullivan argues that while many corporations are greedy, some universities are now also becoming greedy, partially because of increasing demands for productivity and efficiency in higher education. Sullivan discusses these issues within the context of the work of Randy Hodson, who influenced Sullivan’s thinking and writing on this topic.
The relationships between different types of workplace bullying and the reactions of victims were examined using six categories of bullying (threat to professional status…
The relationships between different types of workplace bullying and the reactions of victims were examined using six categories of bullying (threat to professional status, destabilization, isolation, overwork, verbal taunts, and violence) and three categories of reactions (assertiveness, avoidance, and seeking formal help). Participants were 127 employed undergraduates. Descriptive statistics and correlations were used to analyse the data. The findings revealed that avoidance reactions were the most common, followed by assertiveness and seeking formal help. As hypothesized, different types of bullying were associated with different types of reactions. Several practical implications derived from the findings were discussed suggesting that prevention is better than intervention.
This research examines effects on emotional burnout among “maternity support workers” (MSWs) that support women in labor (labor and delivery (L&D) nurses and doulas). The…
This research examines effects on emotional burnout among “maternity support workers” (MSWs) that support women in labor (labor and delivery (L&D) nurses and doulas). The emotional intensity of maternity support work is likely to contribute to emotional distress, compassion fatigue, and burnout.
This study uses data from the Maternity Support Survey (MSS) to analyze emotional burnout among 807 L&D nurses and 1,226 doulas in the United States and Canada. Multivariate OLS regression models examine the effects of work–family conflict, overwork, emotional intelligence, witnessing unethical mistreatment of women in labor, and practice characteristics on emotional burnout among these MSWs. We measure emotional burnout using the Professional Quality of Life (PROQOL) Emotional Burnout subscale.
Work–family conflict, feelings of overwork, witnessing a higher frequency of unethical mistreatment, and working in a hospital with a larger percentage of cesarean deliveries are associated with higher levels of burnout among MSWs. Higher emotional intelligence is associated with lower levels of burnout, and the availability of hospital wellness programs is associated with less burnout among L&D nurses.
While the MSS obtained a large number of responses, its recruitment methods produced a nonrandom sample and made it impossible to calculate a response rate. As a result, responses may not be generalizable to all L&D nurses and doulas in the United States and Canada.
This research reveals that MSWs attitudes about medical procedures such as cesarean sections and induction are tied to their experiences of emotional burnout. It also demonstrates a link between witnessing mistreatment of laboring women and burnout, so that traumatic incidents have negative emotional consequences for MSWs. The findings have implications for secondary trauma and compassion fatigue, and for the quality of maternity care.
Much current Japanese popular discussion centres around the suddendeath, at an early age, of Japan′s hard‐working white‐collar workers:karoshi – death from overwork – or…
Much current Japanese popular discussion centres around the sudden death, at an early age, of Japan′s hard‐working white‐collar workers: karoshi – death from overwork – or Salaryman′s Sudden Death Syndrome. Officially it does not exist as the Government and big business are hesitant to legitimatize the phenomenon because of the response which, both local and international, it would evoke. Nonetheless, it is a common phenomenon. Describes karoshi, defines the extent of the phenomenon, and analyses its future impact on Japan and the world.
Little is known about temporal trends in the intensification of work in America, or its determinants. This study analyzed two representative samples of the American labor…
Little is known about temporal trends in the intensification of work in America, or its determinants. This study analyzed two representative samples of the American labor force, and found that the pace of work increased significantly between 1977 and 1997. In a decomposition analysis, two-thirds of the increase in work intensification was attributable to objective economic changes, in particular job complexity and the length of work schedules. Future research should further explore the role of technology in quickening the pace of work, but not ignore the possibility that the demands of family life also affect perceptions of work intensification.