Beyond workaholism: differences between heavy work investment (HWI) subtypes in well-being and health-related outcomes

Raphael Snir, Itzhak Harpaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore well-being and health-related outcomes among all the four basic subtypes of heavy work investment (HWI), as well as a fifth distinct category of full-time workers (i.e. those who work from 35 to 43 weekly hours). Design/methodology/approach: The 510 respondents chosen to be included in the Internet survey were mostly heavy work investors. Based on two dimensions of causal attributions (causal locus and controllability), an elimination mode was used to classify heavy work investors into four main subtypes. Those who reported high financial needs were classified as needy. From the remaining heavy work investors, those who reported high organizational demands were classified as organization-directed. Afterward, those who reported high drive to work were classified as workaholics. Finally, those who reported high passion for work were classified as work-devoted. Findings: Among the five categories of classified respondents, the work-devoted and the needy emerged as the most distinct categories. The work-devoted had the best outcomes (stronger positive feelings, better current health condition, better body mass index (BMI) and adequate hours of sleep a night), whereas the needy had the worst outcomes (a higher level of stress, bodily pain, aches that interfere with regular activities and weariness throughout the day). Originality/value: This study addressed both long hours and high effort invested in work, and both dispositional and situational heavy work investors. A possible implication of this study is that when job applicants have similar human capital profiles, organizations should consider recruitment of work-devoted individuals for demanding jobs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-349
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Workplace Health Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The contribution of the National Insurance Institute of Israel to this research is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Health
  • Heavy work investment (HWI)
  • Long work hours
  • Well-being
  • Work effort
  • Workaholism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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