Workaholism: Its definition and nature

Itzhak Harpaz, Raphael Snir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The term 'workaholism' is widely used, but there is little consensus about its meaning, beyond that of its core element: a substantial investment in work Following Snir and Zohar, workaholism was first defined in the present study as the individual's steady and considerable allocation of time to work-related activities and thoughts, which does not derive from external necessities. Subsequently, it was measured as time invested in work while controlling the financial needs for this investment. The relation between workaholism and possible attitudinal (meaning of work indices), demographic (gender, marital status), and situational (occupation type, employment sector) variables was examined through two representative samples of the Israeli labor force. The following predictor variables were significantly related to workaholism: work centrality, economic orientation, occupation type, employment sector and gender: From those variables, gender was found to be the strongest predictor - that is, men, in comparison with women, have a higher likelihood of being workaholics. Moreover, married women worked fewer hours per week than unmarried women, while married men worked more hours per week than unmarried men. The theoretical contribution of the above findings, and of the other study's findings, to the understanding of workaholism is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-319
Number of pages29
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2003


  • Meaning of work
  • Workaholism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Workaholism: Its definition and nature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this