Essays on The Issue of Working Hours Literature review

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The paper 'The Issue of Working Hours' is a great example of a business literature review. Ronald J. Burke’ s business article seeks to address key issues that affect many organizations such as, work addictions, work hours, emerging social issues. In his article, he addresses factors that contribute to an intentional increase in work hours. Burke makes a case as to why organizations, individuals, families, and society at large should care about the work addictions and the long hours spent at work. He acknowledges that organizations and individuals have a choice concerning the raised issues and that most employees many times prefer working for fewer hours yet few employees have been able to realize their preference.

It is established in this article that work addiction and long hours of work may cause harm to individuals and affect their families. It as well does not lead to an organization becoming more effective. It was discovered that, in some organizations, employees work a lot of extra hours without receiving extra pay. For instance, several organizations in China made their young employees work for longer hours without receiving extra pay being kept as virtual slaves (Ronald 167).

Sadly, such scenarios are still in existence today however enlightened employees who are not willing to work extra hours without pay are profitably taking their employers to court to demand for the unpaid working hours. Nevertheless, some professions such as executives, sales personnel, and administrators among many others have been historically exempted from working overtime. The issue of working hours has become somewhat controversial as some governments and business leaders especially in developed and industrialized countries claim that the workforce should work for more hours in order for competitiveness to be realized in their countries (Ronald 167). Factors that have generally contributed to longer working hours include, the need to earn a living, fear of layoffs, cost containment, and downsizing initiatives have led to an increase of workload, increasing competition for the few present promotions, higher performance expectation, emerging technologies that enable one to work anywhere, pressure from peers and financial rewards.

For many work, lives have proved to be more fulfilling than life at home. Evidently, as a result of the long working hours due to work intensity, workplace stress levels have increased and a decrease in job satisfaction has been experiencing.

Long working hours have as well been associated with negative family functioning, psychological, and physical disfunctioning due to lesser sleeping hours. As far as women in the workforce are concerned, work hours have become problematic due to demographic factors such as home responsibilities and children. Prevalently there exists an increase in multitasking, which has in turn contributed to a decrease in performance effectiveness. Multi-tasking in the form of driving while using cell phones or receiving emails may cause road accidents.

A study done by the Canadian statistics has shown that there exist teenage workaholics as well ranging between ages 15 to 19.


Ronald, Burke J. Working to live or living to work: Should individuals and organization care? Journal of business ethics (2009): 84:167-172

DOI: 10.1007/s10551 -008-9703-6.

Spurgeon Charles, Harrington John & Cooper Cary. Health and safety problems associated with long working hours. June 24, 2009 .

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