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Why would someone invest vast amounts of time and energy in their work when there are so many other areas of life where that time and energy can be spent? Some might say they invest heavily in their work to increase their income, because it is expected of them, or because the nature of their job requires a heavy work investment (HWI). These types of commitment to work are often situational and diminish when the demands of the situation are no longer present. Still, Snir and Harpaz (2012) suggest that predictors that are more internal, such as addiction to work and passion for work, may fuel a more dispositional form of HWI. They propose two subtypes of dispositional HWI: workaholism and work-devotion. The former emerges from an addiction to work (Snir & Harpaz, 2012), whereas work-devotion is “an expression of passion for work” (Snir & Harpaz, 2012, p. 5). Workaholism is notorious for its negative effects on workers. For instance, workaholism is a predictor for burnout (Schaufeli, Taris, & van Rhenen, 2008) and worklife confl ict (Bonebright, Clay, & Ankenmann, 2000). The question thus arises, is HWI less damaging when it is fuelled by passion for the work? We propose that when HWI is nurtured by passion, the outcomes the worker experiences may be either positive or negative, or both. It all depends on the type of passion.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Book Chapter

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