Workaholism: The nature of the construct and the nomenclature as controversial issues in research on the phenomenon. A commentary on Staszczyk and Tokarz (2015)

  • Kamila Wojdyło Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Psychology
Keywords: workaholism; work addiction; pathological overwork


The analysis of research findings, presented in previews as concerning “workaholism,” including the results of selected Polish studies, reveals at least three worrisome issues: (a) frequent misapplication of the term “workaholism” to phenomenona that are not related to work addiction, (b) expanding the conceptualization of workaholism to include dimensions defining the healthy form of high work involvement (e.g., work engagement), which do not differentiate workaholism as a disorder from the phenomenon of healthy hard work, (c) using inaccurate interpretation of research results that concern healthy high work involvement as referring to work addiction. The commentary on the article contains a discussion of the above-mentioned issues.


Griffiths, M. D. (2005b). Workaholism is still a useful construct. Addiction Research and Theory, 13(2), 97-100.
McMillan, L. H. W., O’Driscoll, M. P., Marsh, N. V. i Brady, E. C. (2001). Understanding workaholism: Data synthesis, theoretical critique, and future design strategies. International Journal of Stress Management, 8(2), 69-91.
Mudrack, P. E. (2006). Understanding workaholism: The case of behavioral tendencies. W: R. J. Burke (red.), Research companion to working time and work addiction (s. 108-128). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Ng, T. W. H., Sorensen, K. L. i Feldman, D. C. (2007). Dimensions, antecedents, and consequences of workaholism: A conceptual integration and extension. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 28(1), 111-136.
Porter, G. (2001). Workaholic tendencies and the high potential for stress among co-workers. International Journal of Stress Management, 8(2), 147-164.
Robinson, B. E. (2007). Chained to the desk: A guidebook for workaholics, their partners and children and the clinicians who treat them. New York, NY: New York University Press.
Schaufeli, W. B., Taris, T. W. i Bakker, A. (2006). Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide: On the differences between work engagement and workaholism (s. 193-217). W: R. Burke (red.), Research companion to working time and work addiction (s. 193-217). Northhampton, UK: Edward Elgar.
Schaufeli, W. B., Taris, T. W. i Van Rhenen, W. (2008). Workaholism, burnout and engagement: Three of a kind or three different kinds of employee well-being? Applied Psychology: An International Review, 57(2), 173-203.
Spence, J. i Robbins, A. (1992). Workaholism: Definition, measurement and preliminary results. Journal of Personality Assessment, 58(1), 160-178.
Staszczyk, S. i Tokarz, A. (2015). Związki między wskaźnikami pracoholizmu i wypalenia zawodowego u specjalistów oraz menedżerów. Roczniki Psychologiczne, 18(4), 505-522.
Wojdyło, K. (2013). Work craving – teoria uzależnienia od pracy. Nauka, 3, 87-97.
Wojdylo [Wojdyło], K. (2015). „Workaholism” does not always mean workaholism...? – about the controversive nomenclature in the research on work addiction. Polish Psychological Bullettin, 1, 133-136.
Wojdylo [Wojdyło], K., Baumann, N., Buczny, J., Owens, G. i Kuhl, J. (2013). Work craving: A Conceptualization and Its Measurement. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 35(6), 547-568.
Wojdylo [Wojdyło], K., Baumann, N., Fischbach L. i Engeser, S. (2014). Live to work or love to work: Work craving, and work engagement. PLOS ONE, 9(10), 1-7: e106379, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106379
Short Reports