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Relationships between two dimensions of employee perfectionism, postwork cognitive processing, and work day functioning

Flaxman, P., Stride, C., Soderberg, M. , Lloyd, J., Guenole, N. & Bond, F. W. (2017). Relationships between two dimensions of employee perfectionism, postwork cognitive processing, and work day functioning. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 27(1), pp. 56-69. doi: 10.1080/1359432x.2017.1391792


This daily diary study examined relations between two distinct perfectionism dimensions and work-related cognitions experienced by employees during evening leisure time. Drawing from perseverative cognitive processing theory, we hypothesized that perfectionistic concerns would be related to work-related worry and rumination during postwork evenings. In contrast, we hypothesized that a theoretically more adaptive perfectionist dimension (perfectionistic strivings) would be associated with positively valenced self-reflections about work across consecutive evenings. A sample of 148 full-time workers completed an initial survey, which included a trait perfectionism measure, reported their work-related cognitions across four consecutive evenings of a working week, rated their sleep quality immediately upon awakening on each subsequent morning, and their daily levels of emotional exhaustion and work engagement at the end of each work day. Results showed that perfectionistic concerns were indirectly negatively associated with sleep quality and work day functioning via the tendency to worry and ruminate about work. In contrast, perfectionistic strivings were indirectly positively associated with work day engagement via the propensity to experience positive thoughts about work during evening leisure time. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology on 19th October 2017, available online:
Publisher Keywords: perfectionism; perseverative cognition; sleep; burnout; engagement
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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