Work intensity: potential antecedents and consequences
Burke, Ronald J.
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Purpose - The purpose of this exploratory research is to examine the relationship of a measure of work intensity with potential antecedents and consequences. Design/methodology/approach - A questionnaire was developed and pre-tested. It included a new 15-item measure of work intensity. Data were collected from 106 respondents enrolled in three university business courses using anonymously completed questionnaires. Regression and factor analyses were used in developing the measure and testing the relationships. Findings - The 15-item measure of work intensity was found to have high internal consistency and reliability. Work intensity was significantly related to respondents' organizational level and work status. In addition, respondents indicating higher levels of work intensity also reported working more hours, a higher workload, and greater job stress. Work intensity was unrelated to organizational values supporting work-personal life imbalance, three workaholism components, or to indicators of work engagement. Factor analysis of the work intensity measure produced three factors: emotional demands, job demands, and time demands, the first two were fairly consistently related to other study variables, whereas time demands was not. Research limitations/implications - The sample was relatively small and the data were collected using self-reports. The design was cross-sectional, thus limiting causal inferences. Practical implications - Managers will find the study useful in assessing the effects of work intensity and working long hours for employees, including stress levels and work engagement. Originality/value - The study developed a work intensity measure and examined its properties and correlates, something that is lacking in the literature.