Excessive work regimes and functional stupidity

Mats Alvesson, Katja Einola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In order to understand why individuals accept and reproduce excessive time regimes, this paper addresses five key drivers: (1) intrinsic motivation, (2) extrinsic motivation, (3) organizational norms, (4) the principle of reciprocity, and (5) identity, including having the ‘true grit’ and belonging to the ‘elite’. It also points to how various elements in excessive work regimes – tendencies towards a closed occupational system, the combination of incentives and ego-boosting and limited time outside work – contribute to functional stupidity, making people disinclined to ask critical questions about work practices and norms, be self-reflective or imagine alternative forms of work organizations, careers or personal objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalGerman Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number3-4
Pages (from-to)283-296
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Functional stupidity
  • identity
  • motivation
  • professional services
  • working hours
  • work regimes

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


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