Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Gender and Workaholism: A Study of New Zealand Academics

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posted on 2021-11-11, 23:33 authored by Smith, Amanda Lea

The aim of this study was to examine gender's impact on Workaholism and, in particular, the correlates of 'Workaholism' characteristics (Work Involvement, Drive and Work Enjoyment). The Literature review draws attention to the various definitions developed, providing the source and foundation of the definition used in this study. This thesis defines Workaholism as the tendency towards heavy work investment and involvement (the behavioural dimension) with considerable allocation of time to work-related activities and work-related thoughts and the combination of high-drive with low-enjoyment (the cognitive dimension), which manifests itself in working compulsively and being obsessed with work for reasons that are not derived from external necessity. A sample of 331 New Zealand academic employees from the eight different universities completed a web-based survey measuring 'Workaholism', Workaholism perceptions, hours worked and gender perceptions. Results show that there are differences in the degree of Workaholism and Workaholism-related variables between genders in academics in New Zealand. Furthermore, it was found that there was a statistically significant difference between genders in Work Involvement and Drive – females were found to exhibit more of both characteristics. No significant difference between genders in Work Enjoyment was found. Again, there is no significant difference between genders in Workaholism perceptions. There was, however, a significant difference between genders in the proportion of overworkers. These findings provide insight into possible directions for future research as well as potentially influencing treatment for work addiction. In order for this knowledge to directly contribute towards benefiting practitioners further study is needed, leading to the ability to allow actions taken to reduce/prevent Workaholism to be tailored to the specific needs of employees. By understanding gender differences and the individual's perception of their own Workaholism, treatment could be tailored specifically for the individual. The current study suggests that blanket policies designed to promote work-life balance are unlikely to benefit all employees.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Commerce and Administration

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Victoria Management School


Retna, Kala; Chong, Eric