Procrastination and Authenticity at Work: The Conceptualization and Validation of Two Contemporary Phenomena

Unit Baran Metin

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 1 (Research UU / Graduation UU)


Procrastination at work is a problematic kind of employee behavior that is relevant in contemporary work settings. Earlier studies underlined its potential costs to employers as well as the employees; however, empirical findings on which factors lead to procrastination in the work context are scarce. The two important reasons for the lack of research on procrastination at work topic are probably the conceptualization and measurement issues. Majority of procrastination literature focuses on general and academic procrastination which provides a limited understanding of potential reasons for this type of problematic behavior. Moreover, the studies that examined procrastination at work mainly adapted instruments that were originally developed for other life domains and this prevents measuring certain dynamics of procrastination at work. Hence, the first aim of this dissertation is to address these limitations and provide a domain-specific conceptualization and measurement of procrastination at work. If today’s jobs represent such a transformational work environment (e.g., doing what we like and want to do with higher levels of meaningfulness, pride, enthusiasm, and expertise), why do employees engage in procrastination at work? A plausible answer to this question can be a lack of fit with one’s job. Authenticity refers to the extent to which an individual stays close to his/her true self. Contemporary organizations pay growing attention to employees’ feelings and well-being, believing that managing their expectations is an important driver of their productivity. As a result, authenticity at work might be a positive state that limits procrastination and its associated costs to employees and the organizations they work for. This accounts for the second purpose of this dissertation as it is aimed to examine the relationship between authenticity and procrastination as well as other positive occupational variables. The findings of 4 studies stemming from 11 datasets from various countries in this dissertation show that procrastination at work can be conceptualized as “ delay of work-related action by engaging (behaviorally or cognitively) in nonwork-related actions, with no intention of harming the employer, employee, workplace or client”. Furthermore, the 12-item and 2-factor structure (soldiering and cyberslacking) of the Procrastination at Work Scale (PAWS) yielded acceptable psychometric characteristics to underline that it is a valid and reliable instrument to measure this type of behavior. Procrastination at work appears to be an outcome of boredom, which is an understimulated state that is commonly experienced in work environments with limited job resources and demands. Such a work environment could offer little meaningfulness and energy to employees and they can start looking for pleasurable short-time activities for replenishing their energy which leads to procrastination and reduced performance. Authenticity at work appears a type of employee state that can be related to reduced procrastination through enhanced fit and work engagement. Employers can consider providing relevant resources and job crafting possibilities to maximize the fit of employees to reduce procrastination at work.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Taris, Toon, Primary supervisor
  • Peeters, Maria, Supervisor
Award date11 May 2022
Place of PublicationUtrecht
Print ISBNs978-94-6423-777-1
Electronic ISBNs978-94-6423-777-1
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2022


  • Procrastination at work
  • authenticity at work
  • boredom
  • work engagement
  • multi-group analysis
  • job crafting
  • job performance


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