Unhealthy obsession

Ide Katrine Birkeland

Passion can be unhealthy, both for the individual and for the organization. Ide Kathrine Birkeland explains why in a short film about the research she did as a PhD student.

"I practice what I preach".

This is how Ide Kathrine Birkeland in the beginning of the film brifely summarizes her doctorate she took at BI Norwegian Business School. Birkeland has examined the role passion plays for wellbeing and performance in the workplace. She has found that many organizations want their employees and managers to have a passion for their job.

- Passion is important for organisations. It’s something we need and that we want in our staff, but not at any price,” explains Birkeland.

As part of her doctoral research, Birkeland has followed 1,200 members of a trade union for almost an entire year. These union members are graduates working in both private industry and the public sector.

Three times over the course of the year, the participants answered questions about passion for work, well-being, behaviour and how they view their workplace environment.

According to Birkeland, not all passion for work is a good thing. “It’s important to identify the causes of the passion,” she says.

This is one of the key issues Ide Katrine Birkeland poses in short film that presents her research.

Read about our doctoral programme here.

Published 18. August 2015

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