Work engagement and workaholism: Comparing the self-employed and salaried employees

Marjan J. Gorgievski, Arnold B. Bakker, Wilmar B. Schaufeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Citations (Scopus)


This study among a Dutch convenience sample of self-employed individuals (n = 262) and salaried employees (n = 1900) tested to what extent wo rkaholism and work engagement relate to self-reported work performance. After controlling for measurement inequivalence, results of structural equation modeling showed that the self-employed score higher on engagement and working excessively then employees, but not on working compulsively. In addition, work engagement related positively to task performance and innovativeness for both groups. However, engagement only related to contextual performance (performance beyond role requirements) for employees. Workaholism had positive and negative relationships with self-reported performance. Working excessively related positively to innovativeness for both groups, and to contextual performance for the self-employed. Working compulsively suppressed this positive relationship between excessive working and innovativeness in both groups, and between excessive working and contextual performance for the self-employed. In contrast to our expectations, working compulsively related positively to contextual performance for employees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Job performance
  • Measurement equivalence
  • Self-employed
  • Work engagement
  • Workaholism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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