University of Kent’s Dr. Joachim Stoeber led a research team that explored the previously under-researched reasons why some people feel the need to work both excessively and compulsively.
Stoeber and his team researched the links between workaholism and two forms of perfectionism.
The first form of perfectionism is self-oriented perfectionism, whereby someone sets exceedingly high standards for themselves.
The second form of perfectionism is called socially prescribed perfectionism, whereby someone feels that others have high standards and that acceptance by others is conditional on fulfilling these standards.
Among their findings, they discovered that self-oriented perfectionists showed significantly higher levels of workaholism.
This was partly due to this group being motivated by a number of internal and external drivers — such as self-control and rewards — that push them towards workaholism. In contrast, socially prescribed perfectionists were not likely to become workaholics.
Said Stoeber: “Our findings suggest that self-oriented perfectionism and work motivation contribute to workaholism, whereas socially prescribed perfectionism does not.
“Our findings also suggest that workaholism in self-oriented perfectionists is driven by those types of motivation characterized by personal importance and ego involvement as well as being motivated by internal rewards and punishment.”
Source: University of Kent