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Contextualising construals of workaholism through discourse analysis

Breen, Mary Ann (2006) Contextualising construals of workaholism through discourse analysis. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

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Several theorists have noted that the conceptualisation of workaholism has been neglected in favour of the development of measures of the construct (Harpaz & Snir, 2003; Burke, 2004a; Scott, Moore & Miceli, 1997; Robinson, 2001). Typically, workaholism investigations treat the social sphere as peripheral. Consequently, this thesis explored workaholism from a socially contextualised perspective. Various social contexts that were constructed as playing a role in creating workaholism were examined. These included family o f origin, farriily o f procreation, formal educational, work and national cultural contexts. In addition, the construed consequences of excessive working on the social context were investigated. Machlowitz’s (1980) screening tool was employed. Thirty-seven semi-structured interviews were conducted. Employees from the management consultant and financial service sectors were recruited. There were four participant groups, namely, a workaholics group, a former workaholics group, a significant others group and a control group. The workaholics group included a subgroup of Workaholics Anonymous members. Using the Nvivo (Version 2.0) software package for qualitative research, discourse analysis was applied to the interview transcripts. This thesis found that both external and internal explanations were constructed to account for workaholism. Incisive, previously unexamined explanations also emerged from the data. These included construals o f personal choice and boundaries as well as addiction to excessive activity. Furthermore, contextual issues were assembled as being essential when examining the consequences o f workaholism. Hence, the context was worked up as a significant, but not the only aspect of excessive work patterns. An innovative, comprehensive model integrating these findings was devised.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date of Award:2006
Supervisor(s):Kirrane, Melrona
Uncontrolled Keywords:workaholism; social context; excessive work patterns; causal factors
Subjects:Business > Personnel management
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > DCU Business School
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:17350
Deposited On:30 Aug 2012 15:47 by Fran Callaghan. Last Modified 30 Aug 2012 15:47

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