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From “This Job Is Killing me” to “I Live in the life I Love and I Love the Life I Live”, or from Stakhanov to Contemporary Workaholics

Listed author(s):
  • Cunha, Miguel Pina e
  • Cardoso, Carlos Cabral
  • Rego, Armenio
  • Clegg, Stwart

F. W. Taylor is often celebrated as a founding father of organization and management theory, one whose commitment to efficiency is legendary. If we define efficiency in terms of maximizing output from a given – or lesser – number of workers it can be considered that, in some cases, Taylor’s science has achieved a remarkable success. Contemporary organizations managed to create such a state of commitment (be it spontaneous or imposed), that people have adopted excessive working as lifestyle. Life is organized around work, with work occupying more and more territory from the former private life. We discuss the notion of excessive working, present several forms of excessive working, contest the idea that excessive working is necessarily noxious, suggest a dynamic understanding of the different forms of excessive working, and challenge researchers critically to discuss their practical success. As the saying goes, there can be too much of a good thing.

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Paper provided by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia in its series FEUNL Working Paper Series with number wp519.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Handle: RePEc:unl:unlfep:wp519
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  1. Heath, Chip, 1999. "On the Social Psychology of Agency Relationships: Lay Theories of Motivation Overemphasize Extrinsic Incentives," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 25-62, April.
  2. Lindenberg, Siegwart, 2001. "Intrinsic Motivation in a New Light," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 317-342.
  3. Daniel A. Wren & Arthur G. Bedeian, 2004. "The Taylorization of Lenin: rhetoric or reality?," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 287-299, August.
  4. Rego, Armenio & Cunha, Miguel Pina e, 2006. "Perceptions Of Authentizotic Climates And Employee Happiness: Pathways To Individual Performance?1," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp499, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  5. Gratton, Lynda & Ghoshal, Sumantra, 2003. "Managing Personal Human Capital:: New Ethos for the 'Volunteer' Employee," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-10, February.
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