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A longitudinal study predicted changes in burnout or engagement a year later by identifying 2 types of early indicators at the initial assessment. Organizational employees (N = 466) completed measures of burnout and 6 areas of worklife at 2 times with a 1-year interval. Those people who showed an inconsistent pattern at Time 1 were more likely to change over the year than were those who did not. Among this group, those who also displayed a workplace incongruity in the area of fairness moved to burnout at Time 2, while those without this incongruity moved toward engagement. The implications of these 2 predictive indicators are discussed in terms of the enhanced ability to customize interventions for targeted groups within the workplace.
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Early Predictors of Job Burnout and Engagement
Christina Maslach
University of California, Berkeley
Michael P. Leiter
Acadia University
A longitudinal study predicted changes in burnout or engagement a year later by identifying 2 types of
early indicators at the initial assessment. Organizational employees (N 466) completed measures of
burnout and 6 areas of worklife at 2 times with a 1-year interval. Those people who showed an
inconsistent pattern at Time 1 were more likely to change over the year than were those who did not.
Among this group, those who also displayed a workplace incongruity in the area of fairness moved to
burnout at Time 2, while those without this incongruity moved toward engagement. The implications of
these 2 predictive indicators are discussed in terms of the enhanced ability to customize interventions for
targeted groups within the workplace.
Keywords: burnout, job engagement, early indicators
Job stress has been recognized as a significant occupational
hazard that can impair physical health, psychological well-being,
and work performance (see Kahn & Byosiere, 1992; Sauter &
Murphy, 1995). The worker’s internal experience of strain is
assumed to play a mediating role between the impact of external
job demands (stressors) and work-related outcomes (such as ab-
senteeism or illness). This basic mediation model characterizes the
job stress phenomenon known as burnout as well as its positive
opposite of engagement with work (Leiter & Maslach, 2005).
Burnout is an unpleasant and dysfunctional condition that both
individuals and organizations would like to change; indeed, much
of the major interest in burnout has been not simply to understand
what it is but to figure out what to do about it (Maslach &
Goldberg, 1998). Many studies have tried to identify the primary
causes or correlates of burnout, with the goal of developing generic
intervention strategies to change these factors.
The current research takes a different, but complementary, ap-
proach by trying to identify early signs of burnout development. If
such early indicators were indeed valid predictors of future prob-
lems with burnout, then they could be used to identify “high risk”
people who could be targeted for early, preventive interventions.
This approach is a purely pragmatic one, which simply focuses on
people’s experiences at particular points in time rather than mak-
ing other assumptions or including other variables. The basic
premise is that if an individual is experiencing some early signs of
burnout, then that information is sufficient for consideration of
actions to prevent burnout and build engagement.
The Burnout–Engagement Continuum
People’s psychological relationships to their jobs have been con-
ceptualized as a continuum between the negative experience of burn-
out and the positive experience of engagement. There are three
interrelated dimensions to this continuum: exhaustion– energy,
cynicism–involvement, and inefficacy– efficacy (Leiter & Maslach,
2005). The initial research focused just on burnout, establishing it as
a psychological syndrome that involves a prolonged response to
chronic interpersonal stressors on the job (Maslach & Jackson,
1981b). The exhaustion component represents the basic individual
strain dimension of burnout. It refers to feelings of being overex-
tended and depleted of one’s emotional and physical resources. The
cynicism (or depersonalization) component represents the interper-
sonal context dimension of burnout and refers to a negative, callous,
or excessively detached response to various aspects of the job. The
component of inefficacy (or reduced accomplishment) represents the
self-evaluation dimension of burnout and refers to feelings of incom-
petence and a lack of achievement and productivity in work. The
significance of this three-dimensional model is that it clearly places
the individual strain experience within the social context of the work-
place and involves the person’s conception of both self and others
(Maslach, 1993). Research on burnout uses the Maslach Burnout
Inventory (MBI) to assess these three dimensions (Maslach & Jack-
son, 1981a; Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996).
More recently, research has focused on the positive opposite of
these three dimensions and labeled it as job engagement. Specif-
ically, engagement has been defined as an energetic state of
involvement with personally fulfilling activities that enhance one’s
sense of professional efficacy (Leiter & Maslach, 1998).
1
This
1
More recently, other researchers have used the same term of “engage
-
ment” but have departed from the original Leiter and Maslach (1998)
formulation. Although retaining the idea that engagement is a positive
“opposite” of burnout, this alternative approach has developed a separate
measure, with three different dimensions, rather than utilizing the opposite
scores on the MBI (Gonza´lez-Roma´, Schaufeli, Bakker, & Lloret, 2002;
Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004). New research has suggested that this alterna-
tive approach contributes very little additional explained variance over the
MBI (Leiter & Laschinger, 2006).
Christina Maslach, Psychology Department, University of California,
Berkeley; Michael P. Leiter, Centre for Organizational Research and
Development, Acadia University.
This research was partially supported by a research grant from the Social
Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. An earlier version
of the study was presented at the Society for Industrial and Organizational
Psychology Annual Convention in Chicago, April 2004. We thank Ron
Coley and Paul Dimond for all their help in making this research possible.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Christina
Maslach, Office of the Chancellor, 200 California Hall, University of
California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1500. E-mail: maslach@berkeley.edu
Journal of Applied Psychology Copyright 2008 by the American Psychological Association
2008, Vol. 93, No. 3, 498–512 0021-9010/08/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.93.3.498
498
multi-dimensional concept of engagement provides a more com-
plex and thorough perspective on people’s relationships with their
work, over and above such single concepts as organizational
commitment, job satisfaction, or job involvement. The practical
significance of this burnout– engagement continuum is that en-
gagement represents a desired goal for any burnout interventions.
Such a framework leads people to consider what factors in the
workplace are likely to enhance employees’ energy, vigor and
resilience; to promote their involvement and absorption with the
work tasks; and to ensure their dedication and sense of efficacy
and success on the job (Leiter & Maslach, 1998).
In the research literature on burnout, exhaustion is the most
widely reported and the most thoroughly analyzed dimension of
this syndrome. Although exhaustion reflects the strain dimension
of burnout, it fails to capture the critical aspects of the relationships
that people have with their work. Exhaustion is not something that
is simply experienced—rather, it prompts actions to distance one-
self emotionally and cognitively from one’s work, presumably as
a way to cope with work overload. Cynicism (or depersonaliza-
tion) is an attempt to put distance between oneself and various
aspects of the job, and it is such an immediate reaction to exhaus-
tion that a strong relationship from exhaustion to cynicism is found
consistently in burnout research, across a wide range of organiza-
tional and occupational settings (Maslach & Leiter, 2005). The
third dimension of reduced efficacy exhibits a more complex
relationship to the first two dimensions, sometimes being directly
related to them and sometimes being more independent.
The three dimensions of the burnout–engagement continuum
are assessed by the MBI, which is considered the standard tool for
research in this field. The MBI was originally designed for use
with people working in the human services and health care; a
slightly modified version was then developed for use by people
working in educational settings. More recently, given the increas-
ing interest in burnout within occupations that are not so clearly
client-oriented, a third, more generic version of the MBI was
developed (the MBI—General Survey [MBI–GS]). The MBI–GS
assesses the same three dimensions as the original measure but
labeled in more general terms (exhaustion, cynicism, and ineffi-
cacy), and it maintains a consistent factor structure across a variety
of occupations (see Maslach et al., 1996, for all three versions of
the MBI).
Correlates of Burnout and Engagement
The initial research on burnout, which began in the mid-1970s
and 1980s, was concentrated in the United States and Canada, but
with the translations of articles and research measures, it began to
be studied in many other countries. Currently, research is being
conducted internationally, with the bulk of the work occurring in
post-industrialized nations (see reviews by Maslach, Schaufeli, &
Leiter, 2001; Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998). Although the psycho-
metric properties of the MBI are similar across cultures, there
appear to be national differences in average levels of burnout. For
example, Europeans show lower average scores than do North
Americans (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998), and other researchers
have found cultural differences in multi-national data sets (Golem-
biewski, Boudreau, Munzenrider, & Luo, 1996; Savicki, 2002).
Research has established that burnout is a stress phenomenon
that shows the expected pattern of health correlates, such as
headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, muscle tension, hyperten-
sion, cold/flu episodes, and sleep disturbances (see review by
Leiter & Maslach, 2000a). However, it is also a form of mental
distress characterized by (a) a predominance of dysphoric symp-
toms such as emotional exhaustion and fatigue; (b) a predomi-
nance of mental and behavioral symptoms rather than physical
ones; (c) symptoms that are work-related; (d) manifestation of
symptoms in “normal” persons who did not suffer from prior
psychopathology; and (e) decreased work performance resulting
from negative attitudes and behaviors (Maslach & Schaufeli,
1993). These symptoms are largely represented in the diagnosis for
job-related neurasthenia (World Health Organization, 1992), so
recent research has been utilizing this diagnosis as the psychiatric
equivalent of burnout. A recent study has found that burnout scores
on the MBI can distinguish psychiatric outpatients diagnosed with
job-related neurasthenia from outpatients diagnosed with other
mental disorders as well as that the former group shows a less
pathological profile than the latter (Schaufeli, Bakker, Hoogduin,
Schaap, & Kladler, 2001). Other research has shown that burnout
is distinct from (but possibly predictive of) more severe types of
mental illness. For example, a clear distinction has been estab-
lished between burnout and depression, even though these two
phenomena are related (Bakker, Schaufeli, Demerouti, et al., 2000;
Glass & McKnight, 1996; Leiter & Durup, 1994), while other
research has found that burnout is predictive of depression and
other emotional symptoms (Greenglass & Burke, 1990; Schonfeld,
1989).
In many studies, burnout has been associated with various forms
of negative responses to the job, including job dissatisfaction, low
organizational commitment, absenteeism, intention to leave the
job, and turnover. Fewer research studies have been able to collect
direct evidence of impaired job performance (beyond self-report).
However, some studies have found that nurses experiencing higher
levels of burnout were judged independently by their patients to be
providing a lower level of patient care (Leiter, Harvie, & Frizzell,
1998; Vahey, Aiken, Sloane, Clarke, & Vargas, 2004), while
another study of police officers found a link between burnout and
the use of violence against civilians (Kop, Euwema, & Schaufeli,
1999). Research on work–family issues has found that burnout has
a negative “spillover” effect; workers experiencing burnout were
rated by their spouses in more negative ways (Jackson & Maslach,
1982; Zedeck, Maslach, Mosier, & Skitka, 1988), and the workers
reported that their job had a negative impact on their family and
that their marriage was unsatisfactory (Burke & Greenglass, 1989,
2001).
Several demographic variables have been studied in relation to
burnout, but the studies are relatively few and the findings are not
that consistent (see Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998, for a review).
Moreover, there are confounding variables (e.g., age and work
experience, sex and type of occupation) that make the interpreta-
tion of any demographic results more difficult. Several personality
traits have also been studied in an attempt to discover which types
of people may be at greater risk for experiencing burnout. As with
demographic variables, there have been some suggestive trends,
but the only consistent findings have come from research on the
Big Five personality dimensions, which has found a link between
burnout and the dimension of Neuroticism (Deary et al., 1996;
Hills & Norvell, 1991; Zellars, Perrewe, & Hochwarter, 2000).
Neurotic individuals are emotionally unstable and prone to psy-
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PREDICTING BURNOUT
chological distress, so this personality correlate of burnout makes
theoretical sense.
In contrast to the relative dearth of significant individual vari-
ables, many organizational risk factors have been identified in
research across many occupations (see reviews by Maslach &
Leiter, 2005; Maslach et al., 2001; Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998).
These factors can be summarized within six key domains of the
workplace environment: workload, control, reward, community,
fairness, and values.
Workload
A commonly discussed source of burnout is overload: job de-
mands exceeding human limits. Increased workload has a consis-
tent relationship with burnout, especially with the exhaustion di-
mension (Cordes & Dougherty, 1993; Maslach et al., 2001;
Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998). Structural models of burnout have
shown that exhaustion then mediates the relationship of workload
with the other two dimensions of burnout (Demerouti, Bakker,
Nachreiner, & Schaufeli, 2001; Lee & Ashforth, 1996; Leiter &
Harvie, 1998). Both qualitative and quantitative work overload
contribute to exhaustion by depleting the capacity of people to
meet the demands of the job. The critical point occurs when people
are unable to recover from work demands. That is, acute fatigue
resulting from an especially demanding event at work—meeting a
deadline or addressing a crisis—need not lead to burnout if people
have an opportunity to recover during restful periods at work or at
home (Shinn, Rosario, Morch, & Chestnut, 1984). When this kind
of overload is a chronic job condition, not an occasional emer-
gency, there is little opportunity to rest, recover, and restore
balance. A sustainable workload, in contrast, provides opportuni-
ties to use and refine existing skills as well as to become effective
in new areas of activity (Landsbergis, 1988).
Control
The demand–control theory of job stress (Karasek & Theorell,
1990) has identified the importance of personal control in the
workplace. A major control problem occurs when people experi-
ence role conflict, and many burnout studies have found a strong
relationship between role conflict and the exhaustion dimension of
burnout (Cordes & Dougherty, 1993; Maslach et al., 1996). Role
ambiguity (the absence of direction in work) is also associated
with greater burnout, but not as consistently as that of role conflict;
while role conflict directly inhibits a course of action, role ambi-
guity may enhance some work contexts by providing the freedom
to pursue one’s values. On the positive side, active participation in
organizational decision-making has been consistently found to be
associated with higher levels of efficacy and lower levels of
exhaustion (Cherniss, 1980; Lee & Ashforth, 1993; Leiter, 1992).
Control over workplace hazards increases employees’ energy and
health at work (Leiter, 2005).
Reward
The results of various studies have shown that insufficient
reward (whether financial, institutional, or social) increases peo-
ple’s vulnerability to burnout (e.g., Chappell & Novak, 1992;
Glicken, 1983; Maslanka, 1996; Siefert, Jayaratne, & Chess,
1991). Lack of recognition from service recipients, colleagues,
managers, and external stakeholders devalues both the work and
the workers and is closely associated with feelings of inefficacy
(Cordes & Dougherty, 1993; Maslach et al., 1996). In contrast,
congruence in the reward dimension between the person and the
job means that there are both material rewards and opportunities
for intrinsic satisfaction and pride (Richardsen, Burke, & Leiter,
1992).
Community
Community is the overall quality of social interaction at work,
including issues of conflict, mutual support, closeness, and the
capacity to work as a team. Burnout research has focused primarily
on social support from supervisors, coworkers, and family mem-
bers (Cordes & Dougherty, 1993; Greenglass, Fiksenbaum, &
Burke, 1994; Greenglass, Pantony, & Burke, 1988; Maslach et al.,
1996). Distinct patterns have been found for informal coworker
support and supervisor support (Jackson, Schwab, & Schuler,
1986; Leiter & Maslach, 1988). Supervisor support has been more
consistently associated with exhaustion, reflecting the supervisors’
impact on staff members’ workload. Coworker support is more
closely related to accomplishment or efficacy, reflecting the value
staff members put on the expert evaluation by their peers. A sense
of community has been found to buffer the impact of feelings of
inequity at work (Truchot & Deregard, 2001). Regardless of its
specific form, social support has been found to be associated with
greater engagement (Leiter & Maslach, 1988; Schnorpfeil et al.,
2002). Research on the social context of burnout has also attended
to the broader issues associated with a sense of community in an
organization (Drory & Shamir, 1988; Farber, 1984; Royal & Rossi,
1996). Research on community orientation (Buunk & Schaufeli,
1993) has provided a distinct but consistent perspective, demon-
strating that burnout is less likely to occur within a positive and
supportive workplace environment.
Fairness
Fairness is the extent to which decisions at work are perceived
as being fair and equitable. Relevant research on procedural justice
(e.g., Lawler, 1968; Tyler, 1990) has shown that people are more
concerned with the fairness of the process than with the favorable-
ness of the outcome. Fairness is central to equity theory (Walster,
Berscheid, & Walster, 1973), which posits that perceptions of
equity or inequity are based on people’s determination of the
balance between their inputs (i.e., time, effort, and expertise) and
outputs (i.e., rewards and recognition). This core notion of inequity
is also reflected in the effort–reward imbalance model (Siegrist,
1996).
Research based on these theoretical frameworks has found that
a lack of reciprocity, or imbalanced social exchange processes, is
predictive of burnout (e.g., Bakker, Schaufeli, Sixma, Bosveld, &
vanDierendonck, 2000; Schaufeli, van Dierendonck, & van Gorp,
1996). Fairness has also emerged as a critical factor in adminis-
trative leadership (e.g., Laschinger & Leiter, 2006; White, 1987).
Employees who perceive their supervisors as being both fair and
supportive are less susceptible to burnout and are more accepting
of major organizational change (Leiter & Harvie, 1997, 1998).
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MASLACH AND LEITER
Values
The area of values refers to the cognitive– emotional power of
job goals and expectations. Values are the ideals and motivations
that originally attracted people to their jobs, and thus they are the
motivating connection between the worker and the workplace,
which goes beyond the utilitarian exchange of time for money or
advancement. When there is a values conflict on the job, and thus
a gap between individual and organizational values, workers will
find themselves making a tradeoff between work they want to do
and work they have to do. One resolution of the tension resulting
from value conflicts is to bring personal expectations in line with
those of the organization (Stevens & O’Neill, 1983); another is to
leave the organization in search of more fulfilling career opportu-
nities (Pick & Leiter, 1991). Recent research has found that a
conflict in values is related to all three dimensions of burnout
(Leiter & Harvie, 1997), and a structural model of burnout sug-
gests that values may play a key role in predicting levels of
burnout and engagement (Leiter & Maslach, 2005). On the posi-
tive side, consistent organizational and personal values on knowl-
edge sharing are associated with greater professional efficacy
(Leiter, Day, Harvie, & Shaughnessy, 2007).
Job–Person Incongruity
A consistent theme throughout the research literature on orga-
nizational risk factors is the problematic relationship between the
person and the environment, which is often described in terms of
imbalance or misalignment or misfit. For example, the demands of
the job exceed the capacity of the individual to cope effectively, or
the person’s efforts are not reciprocated with equitable rewards.
Building on earlier models of job–person fit (e.g., French, Rodg-
ers, & Cobb, 1974), in which better fit was assumed to predict
better adjustment and less strain, Maslach and Leiter (1997) for-
mulated a burnout model that focuses on the degree of perceived
congruency between the individual and key aspects of his or her
organizational environment. The model proposes that the greater
the perceived incongruity, or mismatch, between the person and
the job, the greater the likelihood of burnout; conversely, the
greater the perceived congruity, the greater the likelihood of en-
gagement with work. Such incongruities may be temporary, rather
than fixed, and may shift over time (e.g., as a result of a change in
job responsibilities or in a person’s expectations of a new col-
league). In accord with the concept of cognitive appraisal of
stressors (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), the model assumes that what
is critical is the individual’s appraisal of the extent of congruency
between him/herself and the job. A measure of perceived incon-
gruities within the six key domains of the workplace environment
(the Areas of Worklife Scale) was developed as part of this model,
and subsequent research has supported the hypothesized relation-
ship between these six areas and the experience of burnout or
engagement (Leiter & Maslach, 2004, 2005).
Identification of Indicators
All of the prior research on job burnout and engagement points
to the conclusion that burnout is an unpleasant and stressful
condition that can pose problems for both the individual and the
organization. Therefore, it would be helpful to identify early signs
of burnout, so that preventive interventions could occur more
effectively. Prior research now has provided a prospective basis for
identifying individuals who are likely to be experiencing some
initial signs of potential burnout.
A strong test of the proposition that early indicators can predict
subsequent experiences of burnout and engagement requires sev-
eral components. First, the hypothesized indicators should have an
a priori theoretical rationale, based on past research. Second, a
longitudinal paradigm, with a reasonably long time interval, is
needed to test whether early indicators at Time 1 can indeed
predict later effects at Time 2. Third, a more epidemiological
paradigm is needed, in which there is an ongoing natural situation
without any specified intervention, in order to assess the robust-
ness of the longitudinal predictors.
Inconsistent Patterns of Burnout
The research literature on the multi-dimensional MBI as a
measure of burnout and engagement has provided some clear
guidance on what could serve as potential early indicators. It is
reasonable to assume that the appearance of high scores on one
dimension of burnout, but not the others, could be an early warning
sign of impending problems. This assumption does not presume
that there will be an inevitable development into a full-blown
problem with burnout, as other factors (e.g., coping strategies, a
change in the workplace) could affect the eventual outcome. How-
ever, at the very least, the appearance of a high score on only one
of the MBI dimensions could serve as an early sign of potential
trouble.
Of the three MBI dimensions, exhaustion and cynicism are the
two primary measures of burnout. There is a strong, robust rela-
tionship between them, as evidenced by a correlation of approxi-
mately .55, which is found throughout the research literature
(Maslach et al., 1996; Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998). In other
words, these two dimensions “go together”—they both appear
strongly in people experiencing burnout, and they both fade away
in people experiencing engagement with their work. Thus, a po-
tential early warning sign is the presence of one of these two
dimensions, but not the other. For example, during a period of peak
demand, employees may become seriously exhausted, but their
cynicism remains low because they can address the demands
through effective coping. Alternatively, if there are issues of unfair
treatment or disrespect in the workplace, employees may become
cynical, but this situation would not necessarily deplete their
energy and lead to exhaustion.
Given the strong relationship between exhaustion and cynicism,
the operating assumption is that these two dimensions are consis-
tent with one another and tend to mutually reinforce one another.
This suggests that an “inconsistent” pattern (one dimension is
present, but the other is absent) is likely to be an unstable one.
According to consistency theories (Abelson et al., 1968), an in-
consistency occurs when two things do not go together, such as an
imbalance in attitudes or a dissonance between two cognitions.
This inconsistency can be qualitative, as well as quantitative (e.g.,
my cognition that I have just chosen to do X behavior is dissonant
with the cognition that I do not believe in doing X). The resulting
tension from this inconsistency will push toward a more consistent
resolution (such as changing one cognition to make it more con-
sonant with the other). The application of this consistency theory
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PREDICTING BURNOUT
framework to the two burnout dimensions would lead to the
prediction that the inconsistent pattern would change toward either
one of two consistent patterns: burnout (both dimensions present)
or engagement (both dimensions absent).
Two initial hypotheses emerge from this line of consistency
theorizing. First, if consistency is indeed the more stable baseline,
then more people should be exhibiting consistent (rather than
inconsistent) patterns at any one time. Second, people who exhibit
an inconsistent (early warning) pattern at Time 1 should be more
likely to have changed by Time 2 than should those who already
display a consistent pattern. Moreover, these changes should be in
the direction of greater consistency.
The predicted change toward a more consistent pattern does not
make the qualitative distinction between which pattern that will be.
Under some conditions, a single dimension of burnout could
stimulate the development of a second; under other conditions, the
single dimension could fade away. For example, in the “exhaustion
only” pattern, prolonged exhaustion has the potential to undermine
the capacity for constructive coping, eventually resulting in a high
level of cynicism (the consistent burnout pattern). Alternatively,
the demands leading to episodic exhaustion may abate, especially
if the people experiencing exhaustion engage in effective coping
and job involvement (the consistent engagement pattern). Similar
alternative scenarios can be proposed for the “cynicism only”
pattern.
Based on this reasoning, the current study identified two qual-
itative metrics of inconsistent patterns at Time 1: the exhaustion
only group (which lacked cynicism) and the cynicism only group
(which lacked exhaustion). It then assessed the degree to which
these two groups were more likely to change over the course of a
year, as compared with the two consistent (and presumably more
stable) burnout and engagement groups. The study assessed
whether either inconsistent pattern might be more likely to evolve
into burnout or into engagement. However, given the lack of any
conceptual or empirical basis for a clear prediction, this remained
an exploratory hypothesis.
Incongruence Between Person and Job
Research on job correlates of burnout has suggested that a better
predictor of whether an inconsistent pattern will evolve toward
burnout or engagement will be the presence of a negative incon-
gruence between the person and the job. Such incongruity indi-
cates that the person is currently experiencing difficulties in the
workplace and may be unable to handle the job successfully. For
someone who is already experiencing one of the burnout dimen-
sions (inconsistent pattern), this level of incongruity can be the
additional “tipping point” that propels him or her into a full-blown
case of burnout. On the other hand, if the person is experiencing a
better fit, or alignment, with the job, that inconsistent pattern is
more likely to resolve in a positive direction of greater engagement
with work.
Six areas of worklife have been identified in which incongruities
are predictive of burnout, and, conversely, congruities are predic-
tive of engagement (Leiter & Maslach, 2004). There is currently
no theoretical rationale for predicting which of the six areas might
be the most critical predictor, so this remained an exploratory
issue. However, the minimum hypothesis is that at least one of the
six areas at Time 1 will predict the qualitative direction of change,
either toward burnout or toward engagement, at Time 2.
Based on this reasoning, the current study measured scores on
the six areas of worklife at both Time 1 and Time 2. It first
assessed whether the relationship between workplace incongruities
and burnout was replicated within the current sample at both time
points. It then assessed whether incongruent scores in any one of
the six areas at Time 1 were predictive of changes toward burnout
or engagement at Time 2, for those people who had inconsistent
(early warning) patterns at Time 1.
Current Study
To test these hypotheses about early indicators of burnout and
engagement, the current study tracked the responses of employees
within an organization that conducted an annual evaluation pro-
cess. Two of these evaluations, which were a year apart, consti-
tuted the longitudinal data set. The organizational workforce was
sufficiently large that there was a good possibility of generating an
adequate sample of respondents with linked data between Time 1
and Time 2. Although the individual data were anonymous, infor-
mation was provided about departmental unit. Thus, in addition to
the individual data analyses, it was possible at the completion of
the study to do post hoc comparisons between units with different
aggregate profiles of burnout scores. The data from this study
provide an initial opportunity to assess (a) whether the inconsis-
tency indicators (early warning) at Time 1 would predict subse-
quent change by Time 2 and (b) whether an incongruent score on
at least one of the six areas of worklife (tipping point) would
predict the positive or negative qualitative direction of that change.
The specific hypotheses were as follows:
Hypothesis 1: Based on consistency theories, it was hypoth-
esized that people with consistent patterns on the two dimen-
sions of exhaustion and cynicism (both present or both ab-
sent) would be larger in number than those with inconsistent
patterns (only one present). Thus, at both Time 1 and Time 2,
more people should display either the burnout or engagement
patterns than either the exhaustion only or cynicism only
patterns.
Hypothesis 2: Following from the proposition that exhaustion
and cynicism maintain one another over time, it was hypoth-
esized that people with consistent patterns (burnout, engage-
ment) would be more stable in their experience and would
show less change over time, while those with inconsistent,
early warning patterns (exhaustion or cynicism only) would
show more change. Moreover, this change should be in the
direction of more consistent patterns. An inconsistent pattern
does not differentiate the direction of change, only the extent
to which change in either direction (toward burnout or toward
engagement) is likely to occur.
Hypothesis 3: In light of strong associations of burnout with
the quality of worklife, it was hypothesized that incongruities
in each of the six areas of worklife would be correlated with
burnout at both Time 1 and Time 2. Specifically, it was
hypothesized that incongruent scores on workload, control,
reward, community, fairness, and values would each be pos-
502
MASLACH AND LEITER
itively correlated with exhaustion and cynicism and nega-
tively correlated with efficacy. This hypothesis was tested
both cross-sectionally and longitudinally.
Hypothesis 4: Given the relationship between burnout and the
six areas of worklife, it was hypothesized that an incongruity
in at least one of the six areas at Time 1, for those people with
an inconsistent pattern, would predict that their subsequent
change would be toward burnout rather than toward engage-
ment. Prior research on the six areas does not provide defin-
itive guidance on which areas might be most predictive of
these changes, so this was an exploratory hypothesis.
Method
The staff of a business and administrative services division of a
large North American university participated in an annual assess-
ment process, as part of its attempt to deal with a series of
organizational issues. The assessment utilized a checkup survey
process that is designed to produce a high level of employee
participation within the organization, with a minimum goal of a
70% response rate (see Leiter & Maslach, 2000b, for details of this
organizational checkup process). The survey included measures of
the six areas of worklife, the three dimensions of experienced job
burnout, and some basic demographic and department information.
The identical survey was administered twice, with a 1-year inter-
val, at the same time of year: Time 1 in 2001 and Time 2 in 2002.
Participation in the study was voluntary, anonymous, and con-
fidential, but the participants were asked to provide a unique code
that would link their responses from Time 1 to Time 2. The survey
was fully supported by top administrators who, in their survey
introduction, pledged that the aggregated responses would be made
public and would be used to help design interventions that would
improve working conditions. A strategic planning group, which
was composed of staff from various units and levels of responsi-
bility, was responsible for the oversight of the survey process. The
overall organizational results from Time 1 were shared with each
department in the division, along with the specific findings for
their individual unit. Each department was asked to focus on those
areas of worklife that had been identified as problematic for them
as well as to introduce some improvements. As might be expected
from such a decentralized, non-systematic organizational strategy,
the departments varied widely in terms of what problems they
decided to tackle, how they did so, and whether these changes
were actually implemented within the year. Some units developed
staff recognition programs, one unit focused on improving com-
munications and hired a consultant, a few units made supervisory
and staffing changes, one instituted leadership training for its
supervisors, and a few either resisted doing anything new or had
difficulties in figuring out how to manage a change process.
The organization’s objective for the Time 2 assessment was to
see if any of these unit activities had led to improved scores among
the employees. Indeed, several of the smaller departments found
that they had achieved a more positive view of their workplace.
However, the largest department within the division experienced a
major organizational crisis during the year. The senior administra-
tion conducted an investigation that identified employees who
were stealing organizational supplies. In the month prior to the
Time 2 assessment, the division implemented discipline proce-
dures that resulted in the dismissal of several employees from the
department. This was not a planned intervention related to the
study, but it was a significant event with implications for employ-
ees’ evaluations of their worklives. Employees disciplined in the
procedure may have completed the survey at Time 2, but there is
no way of differentiating employees according to how much they
might have been affected by news of the event. However, a post
hoc comparison of this particular department with all the others
was conducted to see if there were some meaningful differences in
employees’ responses.
Participants
During Time 1, a total of 992 responses of the possible 1,140
participants (87% response rate) were collected. At Time 2, a total
of 812 responses of the potential 1,128 participants (72% response
rate) were received. Linking the two sets of data presented serious
challenges. Participants followed a set of instructions at Time 1 to
generate a unique code for themselves (e.g., the day of your
mother’s birthday, the last two letters of mother’s maiden name
and the last two letters of father’s first name). The same instruc-
tions were repeated at Time 2, so that the same code would be
regenerated, thus linking individual data between periods. Al-
though participants included this code on response sheets at Time
1 and at Time 2, they did not divulge their identity in order to
maintain anonymity. Although the system of participant-generated
codes provided a high degree of confidentiality, it also led to a
large number of incomplete links as individuals failed to provide a
consistent code across the various surveys. Of the 812 respondents
at Time 2, 63 indicated that they had worked at the organization
less than 12 months, eliminating them from a possible match with
the previous year’s data. Of the remaining 749 respondents, a total
of 446 participants (60% of Time 2 respondents; 40% of employ-
ees at Time 2) were linked by their codes.
Of the 446 participants for whom data were linked, there were
186 women and 255 men, with 5 not identified. At Time 1, the age
ranges were 18 to 29 (n 71), 30 to 39 (n 78), 40 to 49 (n
145), 50 to 59 (n 125), and 60 or older (n 17). The categories
for time of employment were less than 6 months (n 40), 6
months to 1 year (n 30), 1 to 2 years (n 43), 2 to 5 years (n
80), 5 to 10 years (n 53), 10 to 15 years (n 86), 15 to 20 years
(n 37), 20 to 25 years (n 35), and more than 25 years (n
33). The positions included front-line staff (n 336), front-line
supervisors (n 60), and management (n 44). They included
382 career employees and 60 casual employees. Participants
worked in seven departments: Department A (n 59), Department
B(n 56), Department C (n 31), Department D (n 45),
Department E (n 166), Department F (n 78), and Senior
Management (n 4).
Comparisons between the linked and unlinked respondents re-
vealed that the two samples were fairly similar in terms of demo-
graphics. Indeed, the only difference between the linked and
unlinked respondents concerned the distribution of job positions at
Time 1. According to a series of chi-square tests (using a .01 level
criterion for significance in light of repeated tests), management
was relatively overrepresented in the linked group, and front-line
staff was relatively overrepresented in the unlinked group,
2
(2, N
992) 16.37, p .01. Because managers were a relatively
small number of participants (44 of 446 participants), it was
503
PREDICTING BURNOUT
concluded that this bias would not severely limit the generalizabil-
ity of the findings. Contrasts on the nine measures in the study
indicated that the participants with linked scores had a more
positive view of themselves and their work setting at Time 1 than
did those whose scores were not linked: Linked participants scored
higher on control, t(972) 3.00, p .01; Cohen’s d .20; 95%
confidence interval (CI) 0.06, 0.28; community, t(972) 4.35,
p .01; Cohen’s d .28; 95% CI 0.13, 0.35; fairness, t(972)
4.25, p .01; Cohen’s d .27; 95% CI 0.12, 0.33; and values,
t(972) 4.72, p .01; Cohen’s d .30; 95% CI 0.12, 0.29;
and lower on cynicism, t(972) –3.15, p .01; Cohen’s d .21;
95% CI 0.11, 0.46. Such a more positive perspective on the
work setting is consistent with the greater proportion of manage-
ment personnel in the linked sample.
Measures
The complete survey was designed to address a number of
issues of concern to the organization. Included in the survey were
the two measures needed to test our longitudinal hypotheses about
early predictors of burnout and engagement.
Burnout– engagement. The MBI–GS (Schaufeli, Leiter,
Maslach, & Jackson, 1996) measures the three dimensions of the
burnout– engagement continuum: exhaustion– energy, cynicism–
involvement, and inefficacy– efficacy. The items are framed as
statements of job-related feelings (e.g. “I feel burned out from my
work,” “I feel confident that I am effective at getting things
done”)
2
and are rated on a 6-point frequency scale (ranging from
never to daily). Burnout is reflected in higher scores on exhaustion
and cynicism and lower scores on efficacy, while the opposite
pattern reflects greater engagement. Developed from the original
MBI (Maslach & Jackson, 1981a), which was designed for human
service occupations, the MBI–GS is a 16-item measure that eval-
uates the burnout– engagement continuum among people in all
occupations. Thus, the MBI–GS was appropriate for all employees
within the participating organization.
The test of our hypotheses requires a metric that can make a
qualitative distinction between the two consistent patterns (burnout
or engagement), as well as between the two inconsistent patterns
(exhaustion or cynicism only). Median splits on scores for exhaus-
tion and for cynicism were used to create four quadrants corre-
sponding to these patterns: above the median on both dimensions
(burnout), below the median on both (engagement), or above the
median on one dimension but below the median on the other
(exhaustion only, cynicism only). This measure of the four possi-
ble patterns was calculated for each participant, at both Time 1 and
Time 2.
Six areas of worklife. The Areas of Worklife Scale (AWS)
measure (Leiter & Maslach, 2000b, 2004) comprises 29 items that
produce distinct scores for each of the six areas of worklife:
workload (6), control (3), reward (4), community (5), fairness (6),
and values (5). The items are worded as statements of perceived
congruence or incongruence between oneself and the job. Thus
each subscale includes positively worded items of congruence, for
example, “I have enough time to do what’s important in my job”
(workload), and negatively worded items of incongruence, for
example, “Working here forces me to compromise my values”
(values). Respondents indicate their degree of agreement with
these statements on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1
(strongly disagree), through 3 (hard to decide), to 5 (strongly
agree). The scoring for the negatively worded items is reversed.
For each of the six subscales, the AWS measure defines congru-
ence as a high score (greater then 3.00), indicating a higher degree
of perceived alignment between the workplace and the respon-
dent’s preferences. Conversely, it defines incongruence as a low
score (less than 3.00), indicating more perceived misalignment or
misfit between the worker and the workplace. The AWS items
were developed from a series of staff surveys conducted by the
Centre for Organizational Research and Development (Leiter &
Harvie, 1998; Maslach & Leiter, 1997) as a means of assessing the
constructs underlying our analysis of the six areas of worklife. The
scale has yielded a consistent factor structure across samples with
acceptable alpha levels: workload (.70), control (.70), reward (.82),
community (.82), fairness (.82), and values (.74). An indication of
the subscales’ construct validity is that when respondents were
given an opportunity to comment on any issue in their worklives,
the topics on which they wrote complaints corresponded with the
areas of worklife that they evaluated negatively (Leiter & Maslach,
2004).
To test the hypotheses of directional change, it was necessary to
devise an indicator of a potential job–person incongruity that could
signal that an individual was on the brink of moving toward
burnout. Lower, more incongruent scores on each of the AWS
subscales were used as the measure of such a job–person mismatch
(tipping point) that would predict a change toward burnout. Con-
versely, higher scores of greater congruency were hypothesized to
predict a change toward engagement.
Results
Overall, the results provide support for the hypotheses about
early predictors of burnout. Those people who exhibited inconsis-
tent (early warning) patterns at Time 1 were more likely to have
changed by Time 2, in contrast to those with consistent patterns.
The workplace incongruity (tipping point) that determined whether
people changed toward burnout or engagement was their percep-
tion of fairness in the workplace.
Descriptive Statistics and Correlations
Table 1 displays the means, standard deviations, Cronbach’s
alpha, and correlations for the three dimensions of burnout and the
six areas of worklife for Time 1. Table 2 displays this information
for Time 2. Table 3 displays the t values and significance for the
contrasts between Time 1 and Time 2 and the correlations between
the Time 1 and Time 2 measures. Table 4 displays the distribution
of participants by length of job tenure, in terms of their consistency
pattern at Time 1. Of the 446 participants for whom records were
linked over time, 440 provided complete responses on all variables
in the study.
The alpha levels for the various measures indicate an acceptable
level of interitem consistency in the measures. The correlations are
2
Modified and reproduced by special permission of the Publisher, CPP,
Inc., Mountain View, CA 94043 from Maslach Burnout Inventory–GS
by Wilmar Schaufeli, Michael P. Leiter, Christina Maslach, and Susan E.
Jackson. Copyright 1996 by CPP, Inc. All rights reserved. Further repro-
duction is prohibited without the Publisher’s written consent.
504
MASLACH AND LEITER
consistent with those reported in Leiter and Maslach (2004). There
was no relationship between how long people had worked on the
job and whether they displayed a consistent or inconsistent pattern
at Time 1,
2
(6, N 440) 7.36, p .289, ns. For the
organization as a whole, the scores moved in the negative direction
over the year, so that at Time 2 there was greater burnout (higher
exhaustion and cynicism, and lower efficacy), and greater incon-
gruence in the areas of community, fairness, and values.
Potential for Change
Hypothesis 1. People displaying either one of the consistent
patterns (burnout or engagement) were predicted to be larger in
number than those with inconsistent patterns (exhaustion or cyn-
icism only), at both Time 1 and Time 2. A chi-square test of the
pattern across the four groups confirms this hypothesis. At Time 1,
the burnout and engagement groups were each more than twice as
large as the two inconsistent pattern groups,
2
(1, N 440)
50.93, p .0001: burnout (n 150), engagement (n 144),
exhaustion only (n 85), cynicism only (n 61). This pattern
replicated at Time 2,
2
(1, N 440) 71.93, p .0001: burnout
(n 160), engagement (n 149), cynicism only (n 77),
exhaustion only (n 54).
Hypothesis 2. People with consistent patterns (burnout, en-
gagement) were predicted to be more stable in their experience and
show less change over time, while those with inconsistent patterns
(exhaustion or cynicism only) would show more change. More-
over, this change was hypothesized to be in the direction of more
consistent patterns. This hypothesis was tested by first replicating
the standard correlation. As can be seen in Tables 1 and 2, the
correlation between exhaustion and cynicism was the expected .55,
both at Time 1 and Time 2. The next, critical test involved looking
at the number of participants who displayed either consistent or
inconsistent patterns at Time 1, and comparing how many mem-
bers of each of these groups changed patterns over time or stayed
the same. As indicated in Table 5, the engagement group was the
most stable with 83 of 144 (58%) remaining in the same pattern at
Time 2, followed by the burnout group (79/150 53%). Only
36% (22/61) of those in the exhaustion only group showed the
same pattern at Time 2, as did only 24% (20/85) of those in the
cynicism only group.
In summary, 55% of the participants with consistent patterns
remained the same, while only 29% of those with inconsistent
patterns remained stationary,
2
(1, N 440) 25.84, p
.001. Moreover, very few participants moved from one incon-
sistent pattern to the other: Only 1 of the 39 participants who
changed from exhaustion only went to cynicism only, and only
7 of the 65 participants who changed from cynicism only went
to exhaustion only. This analysis demonstrates that people with
inconsistent patterns were not only more likely to change but
that the direction of their change was overwhelmingly toward
the consistent patterns,
2
(1, N 440) 74.58, p .001. All
of these results confirm Hypothesis 2.
Within this change toward consistency, was there a bias toward
either the burnout or the engagement pattern? A Fisher exact test
was used to answer this question. Of the 38 participants moving to
a consistent pattern from the exhaustion only group, 18 (47%)
Table 2
Means, Standard Deviations, Cronbach’s Alpha, and Correlations: Time 2 (N 440)
Variable MSD 23 456789
1. Exhaustion 2.31 1.51 .91 .55
**
.03 .63
**
.36
**
.35
**
.37
**
.39
**
.37
**
2. Cynicism 2.06 1.41 .80 .32
**
.30
**
.43
**
.49
**
.40
**
.46
**
.51
**
3. Efficacy 4.70 1.06 .81 .01 .21
**
.20
**
.16
**
.13
**
.26
**
4. Workload 3.08 0.87 .80 .36
**
.29
**
.32
**
.38
**
.27
**
5. Control 3.51 0.91 .81 .54
**
.54
**
.57
**
.55
**
6. Reward 3.34 0.90 .87 .49
**
.61
**
.65
**
7. Community 3.46 0.88 .89 .56
**
.56
**
8. Fairness 3.02 0.89 .89 .70
**
9. Values 3.33 0.79 .82
**
p .01.
Table 1
Means, Standard Deviations, Cronbach’s Alpha, and Correlations: Time 1 (N 440)
Variable MSD 23 456789
1. Exhaustion 2.09 1.46 .91 .55
**
.06 .60
**
.35
**
.39
**
.33
**
.39
**
.38
**
2. Cynicism 1.82 1.34 .83 .25
**
.36
**
.44
**
.49
**
.39
**
.42
**
.47
**
3. Efficacy 4.54 1.12 .70 .01 .17
**
.20
**
.12
**
.12
**
.17
**
4. Workload 3.14 0.60 .78 .21
**
.29
**
.27
**
.26
**
.20
**
5. Control 3.60 0.85 .74 .52
**
.50
**
.51
**
.46
**
6. Reward 3.36 0.60 .78 .50
**
.58
**
.56
**
7. Community 3.56 0.85 .87 .55
**
.51
**
8. Fairness 3.12 0.84 .87 .66
**
9. Values 3.45 0.70 .77
**
p .01.
505
PREDICTING BURNOUT
moved to engagement and 20 (53%) moved to burnout. Within the
cynicism only group, 22 (38%) moved to engagement, and 36
(62%) moved to burnout. This contrast was not significant,
2
(1, N
96) 1.00, ns; there was no bias toward either burnout or
engagement for the inconsistent groups.
In summary, the inconsistent (early warning) pattern of Time 1
scores on exhaustion and cynicism provided sufficient information
to identify participants who were more likely to have changed by
Time 2. However, these patterns at Time 1 did not predict the
direction of that change—whether it would be toward burnout or
engagement— over the course of the year.
Direction of Change
Hypothesis 3. Congruent scores on the six areas of worklife
were predicted to be negatively correlated with burnout at both
Time 1 and Time 2. For the sample as a whole, the results showed
that these six areas were indeed strongly negatively correlated with
both the exhaustion and cynicism dimensions and positively cor-
related with professional efficacy at each of these times (see
Tables 1 and 2).
In addition to this cross-sectional test of this hypothesis, the
critical longitudinal test assessed whether changes in burnout over
time were also correlated with predicted changes in areas of
worklife. In other words, was moving to burnout consistent with
experiencing more negative incongruence with the workplace, and
was moving to engagement consistent with experiencing more
positive congruence? This analysis used paired t tests within the
two inconsistent (early warning) subgroups.
Within the cynicism only group, those people moving toward
burnout showed negative changes on many measures over the
study interval (see Table 6). In addition to scoring higher on
exhaustion at Time 2 (which led them to burnout), they scored
more negatively on three of the six areas of worklife: workload,
control, and values. In contrast, as indicated in Table 7, the only
significant change for the subgroup moving to engagement was a
lower score for cynicism (2.35 at Time 1, dropping to 1.29 at Time
2). This change simply reflects the new engagement group’s def-
inition— changing from high cynicism to low cynicism—so it does
not reflect any associated changes, as is the case for the new
burnout group. None of the other scores showed a significant
change over the study interval. Together, the pair of analyses in
Table 6 and Table 7 indicated that moving to burnout was asso-
ciated with an extensive negative evaluation of the workplace,
while moving toward engagement was associated with only a
decline in cynicism.
A similar set of results occurred for the exhaustion only group.
Those moving to burnout at Time 2 scored higher on cynicism and
scored lower on two areas of worklife: community and values (see
Table 8). In contrast, the only significant difference from Time 1
to Time 2 for the subgroup moving to engagement was that
exhaustion decreased from 2.76 to 1.51 over the study interval (see
Table 9). Together the pair of analyses in Table 8 and Table 9
Table 3
t Tests on Differences Over Time and Correlations Between Time 1 and Time 2 Constructs (N 440)
Variable t(441) p
95% confidence
interval
d 1 23456789Lower Upper
1. Exhaustion 3.39 .01 .37 .10 .16 .52
**
.37
**
.04 .47
**
.24
**
.30
**
.27
**
.33
**
.28
**
2. Cynicism 3.85 .01 .38 .12 .18 .27
**
.51
**
.14
**
.18
**
.28
**
.34
**
.24
**
.36
**
.35
**
3. Efficacy 2.85 .01 .27 .05 .14 .03 .09
*
.42
**
.10
*
.11
**
.12
**
.06 .10
*
.13
**
4. Workload 1.83 ns .00 .13 .09 .43
**
.26
**
.09
*
.62
**
.17
**
.20
**
.23
**
.27
**
.15
**
5. Control 2.35 .05 .02 .17 .11 .22
**
.31
**
.06 .13
**
.54
**
.40
**
.34
**
.46
**
.38
**
6. Reward 0.67 ns .05 .11 .03 .19
**
.30
**
.09 .18
**
.33
**
.51
**
.29
**
.43
**
.41
**
7. Community 2.58 .01 .02 .18 .12 .22
**
.24
**
.02 .16
**
.34
**
.36
**
.53
**
.46
**
.35
**
8. Fairness 2.82 .01 .03 .18 .13 .25
**
.30
**
.06 .20
**
.35
**
.41
**
.33
**
.59
**
.46
**
9. Values 3.41 .01 .05 .18 .16 .21
**
.28
**
.13
**
.20
**
.37
**
.45
**
.34
**
.51
**
.56
**
*
p .05.
**
p .01.
Table 4
Distribution Across Years of Job Tenure
Job tenure
Time 1
Low exhaustion High exhaustion
TotalLow cynicism High cynicism Low cynicism High cynicism
n % n % n % n % N %
Less than 2 years 45 31% 12 19% 24 28% 32 20% 113 25%
3 years to 19 years 75 52% 38 62% 50 58% 100 64% 263 59%
20 years or more 24 16% 11 18% 11 12% 22 14% 68 15%
Total 144 61 85 154 444
506
MASLACH AND LEITER
indicates that those moving to burnout reported a more negative
outlook over the year, but those moving to engagement changed
solely on the defining dimension of lower exhaustion.
Hypothesis 4. For the two inconsistent (early warning) groups,
it was hypothesized that a workplace incongruity in at least one of
the six areas of worklife at Time 1 would serve as a tipping point
and predict that people’s subsequent change by Time 2 would be
toward burnout rather than toward engagement. The analysis in-
vestigated these differences through a series of six t tests using a
.0086 level of significance to accommodate the repeated tests
determined through Bonferroni adjustment. These tests were con-
ducted separately for each of the two inconsistent groups at
Time 1.
Within the cynicism only group, the only difference at Time 1
between the subgroup that eventually moved toward burnout and
the subgroup that eventually moved toward engagement was their
assessment of the fairness area of worklife. At Time 1, those who
moved to engagement at Time 2 scored higher on fairness (M
3.52) than did those who had moved to burnout at Time 2 (M
2.71), t(56) 3.69, p .001; Cohen’s d 1.05; 95% CI –1.24,
0.37. A similar set of findings emerged for the exhaustion only
group. Once again, the only difference at Time 1 was in the
fairness area of worklife. Those who moved to engagement at
Time 2 scored higher on Time 1 fairness (M 3.38) than did those
who moved to burnout at Time 2 (M 2.77), t(32) 3.01, p
.001; Cohen’s d .76; 95% CI –1.03, 0.20.
3
Post Hoc Departmental Analysis
This analysis considered whether the shift toward or away from
burnout was associated with membership in the department that
underwent a crisis immediately prior to the Time 2 survey. Table
10 displays the shift for the two inconsistent (early warning)
groups, designating whether respondents were members of the
crisis department or any other department. The analysis confirmed
a bias in the shift, with members of the crisis department more
likely to change toward burnout than were members of other
departments,
2
(1, N 96) 5.66, p .05.
A post hoc examination of Time 1 scores indicated that the
percentage of crisis department employees showing early warning
signs was similar to the percentage for the organization as a whole:
20.4% for cynicism only (vs. 19.6% overall), and 16.0% for
exhaustion only (vs. 13.9% overall). However, the distinctive shift
of the crisis department toward burnout was presaged by the fact
that it scored most negatively on the workplace incongruity (tip-
ping point) of fairness, compared with all the other departments,
t(443) 2.58, p .01; Cohen’s d 0.24; 95% CI 0.05, 0.37.
In addition, it scored more negatively than the others on incon-
gruities in workload, t(443) 2.68, p .01; Cohen’s d 0.26;
95% CI 0.55, 0.36; and values, t(443) 2.73, p .01; Cohen’s
d 0.27; 95% CI 0.52, 0.32. It appears that the pattern of
tipping point indicators at Time 1 did indeed provide a relevant
clue for the department’s future problems.
Discussion
This new longitudinal research approach has yielded fresh in-
sights into the process of how burnout changes over time. The
empirical evidence is that people who are likely to actually shift
toward burnout can be identified in advance by two indicators: an
early warning sign of inconsistent scores and the tipping point
experience of a job–person incongruence. Given that these two
characteristics can be easily assessed, this approach provides or-
ganizations and employees with a powerful tool for preventive
intervention. Later in the discussion these findings will be trans-
lated into decision rules for management use to address burnout
early in its development.
Research Issues
As an initial step, this study provides longitudinal evidence in
support of the hypotheses underlying this new approach. First, the
standard relationship between the exhaustion and cynicism dimen-
sions of burnout, and the corresponding consistency and stability
of the burnout and engagement patterns, were replicated over the
1-year interval. Second, the relationship between burnout and
mismatches in the six areas of worklife was also replicated longi-
tudinally. The corroboration of these two longitudinal relationships
provides the empirical foundation for our new approach to pre-
dicting changes in burnout. The first relationship between burnout
dimensions allows us to identify an inconsistent pattern as an early
warning sign of potential change. The second relationship allows
us to identify a workplace incongruity as a potential tipping point
toward burnout, rather than engagement. The results confirm our
initial hypotheses that the inconsistent pattern predicts the likeli-
hood of future change but that the incongruity score predicts what
direction that change will take.
In this particular study, the critical incongruity, or tipping point,
turned out to be the area of fairness. If people were experiencing
problems with fairness in the workplace (such as favoritism, un-
3
An alternative explanation for the relationships among study variables
is common method variance. Although examination of the current mea-
sures in structural equation analyses has identified significant correlations
among error terms within the MBI and the AWS subscales, there have been
no problematic error correlations among items in different subscales (Lei-
ter et al., 2007). The use of composite measures within the analyses
reported here reduces the potential impact of common method variance on
these results.
Table 5
Shifts Across Groups from Time 1 to Time 2
Time 1
Time 2
Low exhaustion High exhaustion
Total
Low
cynicism
High
cynicism
Low
cynicism
High
cynicism
Low exhaustion
Low cynicism 83 15 21 25 144
High cynicism 22 20 73685
High exhaustion
Low cynicism 18 1 22 20 61
High cynicism 26 18 27 79 150
Total 149 54 77 160 440
Note. Numbers in bold represent those remaining in the identical group
from Time 1 to Time 2.
507
PREDICTING BURNOUT
justified inequities, or cheating), their early warning pattern was
likely to develop into burnout over time. In contrast, for those
people who were not experiencing a fairness incongruity, the early
warning pattern (of either exhaustion or cynicism) was likely to
diminish over time and result in a pattern of engagement.
However, is the area of fairness always going to serve as the critical
incongruity in the workplace, or might some of the other five areas
serve that function as well? It could be that fairness plays a unique and
central role in defining the workplace in fundamental terms as either
a good place or a bad place to be. Once people begin to feel hostile
and angry about job inequities, and lack faith in organizational pro-
cesses to right any wrongs, this may set in motion an increasing
cascade of negative reactions to the job. However, people who feel the
workplace is fair and equitable, and who trust that good solutions will
be found for problems, may be able to weather the storm that has led
to the early warning sign. If correct, this analysis would suggest that
fairness constitutes a primary tipping point— either the first, or only,
or most important one.
An alternative argument is that the nature of the tipping point
may depend on current conditions in the work environment. That
is, the incongruity will reflect whatever area is most dominant—
because of policies, or practices, or problems. For example, in an
organization that is experiencing recurring problems of staff con-
flict and absenteeism, the area of community might be the source
of a major incongruity. It could be argued that fairness was the
dominant and salient issue for the organization that participated in
the study, as the initial results of the assessment at Time 1 led the
senior management to identify the fairness area as especially
problematic and to ask all of the departments to make changes that
would improve fairness issues over time. The fact that there was a
major fairness crisis in one of the departments underscores the
salience of this particular area of worklife. It is important to keep
in mind that this crisis occurred almost a year after the Time 1
assessment, so the incident itself cannot be viewed as causing the
differential predictiveness of the incongruity scores for fairness.
Future longitudinal research will need to continue to assess all
six areas of worklife in order to distinguish between the alternative
hypotheses of primacy and saliency. Collection of other indepen-
dent data about current conditions in the workplace would be
especially helpful in this regard. Also, the use of an alternative
method, such as a diary study, could provide useful evidence with
regard to changes in people’s job experience over time.
In addition to replicating these initial findings, future studies
might explore improved measures of both of these early indicators.
In the current study, a simple distinction between high and low
scores on exhaustion and cynicism was made on the basis of a
median split. Perhaps the early warning predictions might be
improved by using a more sophisticated approach to scoring, such
as a weighting of more extreme scores, or the use of the third
dimension of burnout (inefficacy). Similarly, a better tipping point
index might involve some combination of the six areas of worklife.
Alternatively, there may be other variables, which are currently
Table 6
Contrast of Time 1 With Time 2 for Cynicism Only Group That Changed Toward Burnout
Variable
Time 1 Time 2
t(34) p
95% confidence
interval
Cohen’s dMSDMSD Lower Upper
Workload 3.25 0.75 2.70 0.68 4.70 .01 0.32 0.80 0.78
Control 3.60 0.89 3.07 0.92 3.43 .01 0.22 0.84 0.57
Reward 3.11 0.94 2.83 0.88 1.99 ns 0.01 0.58 0.33
Community 3.32 0.85 3.01 0.97 2.17 .05 0.02 0.60 0.36
Fairness 2.71 0.76 2.57 0.79 1.12 ns 0.12 0.40 0.19
Values 3.22 0.58 2.81 0.57 3.16 .01 0.15 0.68 0.53
Exhaustion 1.23 0.48 3.39 1.24 9.86 .01 2.60 1.71 1.64
Cynicism 2.68 1.03 3.81 1.19 5.10 .01 1.58 0.68 0.85
Efficacy 4.52 0.98 4.23 1.00 1.34 ns 0.15 0.75 0.22
Table 7
Contrast of Time 1 With Time 2 for Cynicism Only Group That Changed Toward Engagement
Variable
Time 1 Time 2
t(34) p
95% confidence
interval
Cohen’s dMSDMSD Lower Upper
Workload 3.40 0.72 3.40 0.74 0.01 ns 0.34 0.34 0.00
Control 3.50 0.66 3.65 0.65 0.85 ns 0.52 0.22 0.18
Reward 3.32 0.74 3.58 0.67 1.55 ns 0.61 0.09 0.33
Community 3.57 0.81 3.53 0.60 0.26 ns 0.31 0.40 0.06
Fairness 3.52 0.84 3.33 0.65 1.21 ns 0.14 0.52 0.26
Values 3.42 0.75 3.60 0.50 1.36 ns 0.46 0.10 0.30
Exhaustion 1.05 0.54 1.09 0.42 0.34 ns 0.33 0.24 0.07
Cynicism 2.35 0.73 1.29 0.34 5.66 .01 0.67 1.44 1.21
Efficacy 4.42 1.40 4.65 1.38 0.80 ns 0.82 0.37 0.17
508
MASLACH AND LEITER
untested, that would also serve as effective early warnings or
tipping points. The challenge of conducting such future longitudi-
nal research will continue to be considerable; the studies will need
to involve sufficiently large samples of employees whose individ-
ual responses can be linked accurately over repeated assessments.
Implications for Intervention
The ability to predict future change has a clear practical benefit.
Because it is now possible to identify in advance those people who
are at greater risk for problems, organizations can be in a better
position to develop targeted interventions. Some interventions
might involve an individualized approach, such as personalized
counseling or professional training. However, it is more likely that
signs of impending problems will not be randomly distributed
throughout the workforce but will tend to cluster within particular
units or occupational groups—and such cluster patterns may call
for broader, organizational solutions rather than individual ones.
In the current study, the crisis department turned out to be an
example of such clustering. A look back at the Time 1 scores of
employees in this unit shows that the combination of early warning
signs and an incongruity for fairness (as well as two other areas)
were signals that this particular department was in trouble and
needed organizational attention. It is possible that earlier efforts to
tackle these departmental problems might have lessened or fore-
stalled the later crisis.
An intriguing finding that emerged from this study was the
differential pattern associated with a change toward burnout as
opposed to a change toward engagement. Increased burnout came
with a much more negative evaluation of the workplace, but
increased engagement showed no corresponding positive shift. In
other words, when people’s congruent evaluation of the workplace
remained constant over the year, their early warning sign dissi-
pated; however, when things got worse over time and people
reported more areas of job–person incongruence, the early warning
sign developed into burnout.
These contrasting patterns of change suggest that engagement
is the more normative experience in the workplace as well as
that occasional problems (which could lead to an early warning
sign) are likely to be temporary and more easily resolved if the
person maintains a good relationship with the job. Burnout, on
the other hand, appears to be a major change from this norma-
tive baseline, in which the person’s relationship to the job
becomes increasingly problematic, and the mismatch of the
initial incongruity spreads to more areas of worklife. If this
speculation is correct, it suggests that different intervention
strategies might be needed when a tipping point accompanies an
early warning sign than when it does not. For example, the
presence of a tipping point may signal the need for a more
extensive organizational intervention to cope with the growing
problem. However, an early warning sign, by itself, might call
Table 8
Contrast of Time 1 With Time 2 for Exhaustion Only Group That Changed Toward Burnout
Variable
Time 1 Time 2
t(34) p
95% confidence
interval
Cohen’s dMSDMSD Lower Upper
Workload 2.79 0.89 2.61 0.66 1.61 ns 0.06 0.42 0.72
Control 3.60 0.83 3.13 1.18 1.91 ns 0.05 0.98 0.85
Reward 3.58 0.82 3.26 0.62 1.68 ns 0.08 0.70 0.75
Community 3.75 0.79 3.21 1.01 2.96 .01 0.16 0.92 1.32
Fairness 2.77 0.65 2.32 0.97 2.33 .05 0.05 0.85 1.04
Values 3.25 0.78 2.65 0.93 3.70 .01 0.26 0.94 1.65
Exhaustion 3.16 0.96 3.62 0.95 2.08 .05 0.92 0.00 0.93
Cynicism 0.92 0.38 3.30 1.05 8.71 .01 2.95 1.81 3.89
Efficacy 4.54 1.08 4.38 1.25 0.51 ns 0.49 0.80 0.23
Table 9
Contrast of Time 1 With Time 2 for Exhaustion Only Group That Changed Toward Engagement
Variable
Time 1 Time 2
t(34) p
95% confidence
interval
Cohen’s dMSDMSD Lower Upper
Workload 3.17 0.72 3.37 0.49 1.63 ns 0.47 0.06 0.39
Control 3.74 0.42 3.98 0.58 2.25 .05 0.47 0.01 0.53
Reward 3.31 0.87 3.65 0.61 1.81 ns 0.75 0.06 0.43
Community 3.58 0.85 3.59 0.84 0.05 ns 0.45 0.43 0.01
Fairness 3.38 0.60 3.39 0.63 0.07 ns 0.31 0.29 0.02
Values 3.69 0.62 3.48 0.78 1.48 ns 0.09 0.51 0.35
Exhaustion 2.76 0.66 1.51 0.35 6.42 .01 0.84 1.65 1.51
Cynicism 0.66 0.48 0.62 0.47 0.24 ns 0.26 0.33 0.06
Efficacy 5.33 0.57 5.18 1.30 0.51 ns 0.49 0.80 0.12
509
PREDICTING BURNOUT
for a more preventive, individual approach to get things back on
track for the person who is under temporary stress.
This approach leads to a set of decision rules when information
on the relevant measures is available. First, if scores reveal the
presence of either early warning pattern (exhaustion only or cyn-
icism only), then action is appropriate because those people are
more susceptible to change. Second, if scores reveal a tipping point
pattern for fairness, then action is urgent because there is a risk of
deterioration to a state of burnout. Third, if scores already reveal a
pattern of burnout (both exhaustion and cynicism), then interven-
tion requires a more extended and deliberate effort to be effective.
With these decision rules, an assessment informs a management
response to addressing the potential for burnout.
Conclusion
The current research represents an important first step in a
strategic approach to dealing with burnout. The ability to identify
developing problems early on, before they become more serious
and pervasive, can enable timely, preventive solutions. It points to
the possibility of being able to customize interventions to targeted
employee populations.
The potential power of this approach rests on the fact that it
functions like an organizational “checkup,” with repeated assess-
ments on a regular basis. The procedure for conducting such
checkups has already been developed, along with the necessary
measures of burnout and areas of worklife (Leiter & Maslach,
2000b). The added value of the current study is that we have
identified new ways of scoring those measures to yield useful early
indicators of potential problems.
However, because this study is only the first one to try out this
new approach, the findings should be viewed with caution. A
single organizational sample is insufficient for any strong claims
about generalizability, and replications and extensions of these
initial results are clearly needed. Nevertheless, the findings are
exciting in their promise of applying research results to the solu-
tion of a real-world problem.
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MASLACH AND LEITER
... Différentes recherches montrent que la charge de travail (à la fois qualitative et quantitative) a une relation étroite avec l'épuisement émotionnel (Maslach & Leiter, 2008). Cependant, cette charge de travail ou cet effort perçu révèle également que les enseignants ne possèdent pas les ressources nécessaires pour répondre à cette demande. ...
... émotionnel et que cette dernière, à son tour, joue le rôle de médiateur entre la charge de travail et les autres dimensions du burnout. Suivant cette logique, nous avons procédé à une analyse complémentaire qui a consisté à explorer si l'épuisement émotionnel avait un effet médiateur entre la tension produite par la technologie et les deux autres variables du burnout (dépersonnalisation et sentiment d'efficacité).Nos résultats confirment ce qu'affirmaientMaslach et Leiter (2008) et indiquent que l'épuisement émotionnel est bien un médiateur entre les variables d'effort et les dimensions de dépersonnalisation et de sentiment d'efficacité, ces résultats sont consignés dans le Tableau 48. Tableau 48. ...
Thesis
L'étude du stress suscité par l'usage des technologies numériques - appelé « technostress » - et de la charge mentale s'est accentué après l'introduction et l'utilisation massive des technologies numériques en contexte professionnel. Cette thèse vise à comprendre les déterminants de ces deux phénomènes et à comprendre leur relation. La revue de la littérature scientifique révèle que le technostress et la charge mentale partagent les mêmes déterminants et a permis d'identifier les similitudes et les différences entre ces deux concepts. La première étude empirique a consisté en l'adaptation culturelle et linguistique en français d'une échelle d'évaluation des facteurs générateurs et protecteurs du technostress en contexte professionnel (Ragu-Nathan et al. 2007), ainsi que sur l'évaluation de son cadre théorique sous-jacent du point de vue du travail de psychologie et d'ergonomie. Une échelle fiable à trois facteurs a ainsi été obtenue. La deuxième étude s'est concentrée sur l'exploration de la relation entre le technostress, la charge la mentale, l'utilisation des technologies numériques et le télétravail. Pour ce faire, l'échelle adaptée dans l'étude précédente a été utilisée, ainsi que le modèle « individu, charge mentale et activité » développé par Galy (2020). Nous avons constaté que la fréquence d'utilisation de la technologie et la quantité de télétravail n'exerce pas d'influence importante sur les dimensions de technostress et de charge mentale. En revanche, lorsque la technologie augmente la charge de travail de l'opérateur, celui-ci perçoit ses conditions de travail (aspects temps, organisation et climat social) comme plus exigeantes. La troisième étude portait sur la tension, l'anxiété et l'épuisement professionnel provoqués par l'utilisation de la technologie chez les enseignants de l'Éducation nationale lors du premier confinement lié à la crise sanitaire COVID-19. Nous avons observé que l'utilisation de la technologie numérique augmente l'effort perçu de réalisation des activités pédagogiques et que cette tension qui en résulte influence significativement l'état d'anxiété et l'épuisement émotionnel et psychologique des individus. Les résultats de ces études ont permis d'élaborer un modèle du technostress et de sa relation avec la charge mentale. La thèse se conclut par une réflexion sur l'aspect sociotechnique de l'utilisation de la technologie dans le cadre du travail.
... Meanwhile, [11] state that burnout is a response toward work pressure that occurs continuously and then has negative effects on individuals, organizations, and the workplace. ...
... Burnout consist of several aspects, namely emotional exhaustion (frustration, hopelessness, sadness, feeling full of pressure), depersonalization (indifference, apathy and indifference to others), and low self-esteem (never satisfied with the results of their work, and feel that they have never done work that has a positive impact on themselves and others). According to [11] there are several factors that can cause burnout, namely individual factors, socio-cultural, involvement with service, and workplace. [12], who was inspired by Seligman teori, stated that workplace well-being is a positive feeling and growth of characteristics that enable individuals and organizations to progress and develop. ...
Article
This research aimed to identify the relationship between workplace well-being and burnout among the healthcare professionals in Medika Utama Clinic Sidoarjo during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research was conducted by implementing a quantitative approach and correlational research design. Purposive sampling was conducted and 34 subjects were selected. The instrument used in this research was the adaptation scale, and the first scale was the Multidimensional Workplace Well-being Questionnaire obtained from Black Dog Institute, while the validity value on this scale is in the range of .536 - .810. The second scale, namely Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), has a validity value on this scale with a range of .441 – .792 and a reliability of .922 by using the Likert scale. The hypothesis test revealed that there was a relationship between workplace well-being and burnout (.020). Moreover, the Multidimensional Workplace Well-being Questionnaire result indicated that there is no relationship between job satisfaction and burnout (.126), the organization’s respect (towards employees) and burnout (.059), the company’s concern (to employees) and burnout. (.137), but there is a relationship between work interference (with employees’ personal lives) and burnout (.003). In order to avoid burnout, the organization must concern with the work interferences which influence the personal lives of the employees. Keywords: workplace well-being, burnout, healthcare professionals
... I draw on existing frameworks of organizational change (Oreg et al., 2011;van den Heuvel et al., 2010) and conceptualize employee adjustment to change as comprising work-related (i.e., work performance) and health-related (e.g., well-being) indicators of employee effectiveness. Therefore, this dissertation focuses on employees' ability to fulfill their task requirements (Sonnentag et al., 2008) and protect themselves from emotional exhaustion -a state of intensive physical, emotional and cognitive strain (Maslach & Leiter, 2008) to capture employees' effectiveness in adapting to the digitalization, the COVID-19 pandemic and telecommuting. ...
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Problem: This paper proposes essentiality of the well-defined job design in such a manner, that the burnout must be reduced and further the employees’ performance can be enhanced. It will in turn help the organization effectively compete in the ever-challenging global market. Objective: Investigating the relation between job design and burnout in employees (managers) in FMCG companies. It’s done by assessment of changes in core dimensions of burnout with respect to Job Design. Design/Methodology/Approach: The assessment was done among 350 managers working in FMCG companies in Delhi/NCR. They had been given questionnaires to make assessment of the dimensions of different variables related to burnout. The hypothesis was made that job design and burnout have a negative correlation. Path analysis method was used to generate the model and got tested for job design and burnout. For the analysis of the obtained model SEM software AMOS 20.0 version was used. Conclusion: Sub hypotheses were formed by transforming the hypothesis. The hypotheses were validated by the results obtained from the analysis. It also substantiated that job design and burnout are negatively correlated significantly. Originality: The main aspect of this research was to examine the connection amongst these two variables i.e. job design and burnout. The resolve of this research is to examine the significant effect of job design in the alleviation of burnout. The major outcomes of the present research divulge that there is a negative and noteworthy association among job design and burnout. Restrictions: The correlation has only been validated amongst a limited setup of FMCG managers which gives a conceptual base. It can further be extended to other sectors of public and private companies and to other job roles and services. Various measures of management of employees can further be identified on the basis of this research finding to alleviate burnout.
Article
Purpose Salespeople’s unethical behaviors have been the subject of extensive academic research and practitioner outcry. High pressure, complex selling environments and extant methods of monitoring, control and compensation of salespeople have been found to lead to short-term sales behaviors, such as lying, that are detrimental to both customers and firms in the long run. Furthermore, work and family pressures can lead to unethical sales behaviors. However, research on the impact of the social environment on unethical behaviors in sales is scant. This study aims to examine the impact of social factors (e.g. supervisor support and family work support) on salespeople’s unethical behaviors as a social exchange process in an emerging market context where work and family pressures are high. Specifically, the mediating role of emotional and cognitive engagement on the relationship between social support and unethical behaviors is investigated. Design/methodology/approach An empirical study was conducted to examine the relationship between social support (family work support and supervisor support), engagement (emotional and cognitive) and unethical behaviors. Survey data were collected from 496 salespeople from multiple industries in India, and partial least squares structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized relationships. In addition, post hoc qualitative interviews were conducted with 15 salespeople to corroborate the findings. Findings Supervisor support is positively related to emotional and cognitive engagement and negatively related to unethical behaviors. Contrary to our hypothesis, family work support is positively related to unethical behaviors. However, this relationship becomes negative when the salesperson is emotionally and cognitively engaged with their work. Research limitations/implications This research enhances the understanding of the antecedents of unethical behaviors in sales. Supervisor support, emotional engagement and cognitive engagement reduce unethical behaviors. However, family work support increases unethical behaviors. The relationship between social support (supervisor and family work) and unethical behaviors is mediated by emotional and cognitive engagement. These findings offer sales managers dealing with increasing work and family pressures and the blurring of personal and professional life a way to motivate their sales force to act in a manner that benefits customers and the firm in the long run. Practical implications The findings offer insights on how sales managers and organizations can help design supportive work environments for their salespeople to help reduce unethical behaviors. The findings also highlight the importance of understanding salesperson family values during the hiring process and keeping salespeople engaged, especially while they work from home, are isolated from their work environment and spend more working hours at home with family members. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the current research is the first to investigate the impact of family work support on unethical behaviors. This is timely and valuable as the current COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of salespeople working from home, reduced sales performance and increased anxiety due to economic uncertainty, all of which could encourage unethical sales behaviors. This paper is also the first to investigate the mediating role of engagement on the effects of social support on unethical behaviors.
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The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it the generalisation of working methods that existed beforehand, such as teleworking. Remote work has shown significant advantages, both for companies and for employees. However, teleworking has shown itself prone to certain psychosocial risks, even being viewed as an “accelerator” of the burnout process. Although research supports that teleworking promotes autonomy and flexibility, there is also evidence that teleworking performed at high-intensity may create conflict in the personal life. Intense workload, reduced and scant social support perceived in remote working were predictors, not solely of emotional weariness, but moreover of other dimensions of burnout: cynicism and lack of personal realisation. The experiences described by those who have worked remotely during the pandemic were: the ease with which schedules or rest days disappear, meeting too many demands through different channels (phone, WhatsApp, email) and with limited time. Also, taking into account that the employees lacked training and that on many occasions they were overwhelmed by techno-stress. Thorough studies are needed on the health consequences of teleworking, which clearly define their aims and take into account the complexity of mediating and modulating variables. Future research should seek to identify what behaviours and resources of teleworking can be beneficial in meeting demands and what aspects contribute to exhaustion.
Conference Paper
Border officers of Lisbon airport (Portugal) are, as professionals from other sectors of activity, exposed to various psychosocial stressors in their workplace. Thus, monitoring the professionals of this security service is important to understand their situation, because working under conditions of prolonged excessive stress (distress) can lead to burnout syndrome, with negative consequences for workers, organization and economy. In this study a Portuguese version of the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure (SMBM), validated internationally, was used in a survey to assess the “feeling of burnout” of those workers. The SMBM has 14 questions that correspond to manifest variables expressed in a Likert-type scale of 7 categories, which operationalize the latent variables: emotional exhaustion, cognitive fatigue (or weariness) and physical fatigue, considered three facets of burnout. Based on a sample, some descriptive statistics were obtained, and to compare the latent variables mentioned in two groups of workers, created by the dichotomous variable years of service (A: maximum 2 years and B: more than 2 years), a parametric test was applied, with and without outliers. The means of the scores of the three latent variables are less than 5 and the same happens with the latent variable feeling of burnout (which may be indicative of the absence of problems in this domain). In the comparison of groups A and B, for a significance level of 5%, only when considering the results with the full dataset (i.e. with outliers) were identified statistically significant differences were identified in the means of the scores of latent variables emotional exhaustion and feeling of burnout.
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During the spring 2021 semester, COVID-19 forced most universities around the world to teach exclusively online in a very short time frame. This situation reversed itself, however, during the fall 2021 semester when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted as teachers and students returned to classrooms. This study includes ninety-seven international students who participated in surveys at the beginning and the end of the fall 2021 semester, which included questions related to burnout, self-efficacy, resiliency, home environments, and technical issues. Students were asked to reflect on their educational experiences during the spring 2021 and fall 2021 semesters. The purpose of this study is to identify and examine the most significant changes that occurred between these two semesters. The results indicate a significant shift in student burnout as challenges with home environments were replaced with ones related to returning to the classroom. Even as the concerns about COVID-19 lessen, higher education institutions must understand the magnitude and permanence of its impact.
Article
Objective To establish the factors associated with burnout syndrome in dental specialists working in the city of Bucaramanga and its metropolitan area. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted in which the validated version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS) questionnaire was applied to 117 dental specialists. The variables analysed were the scores obtained in the three dimensions of the instrument - sociodemographic and job-related characteristics, professional environment, and habits. Spearman's correlation coefficient and the Mann Whitney or Kruskal-Wallis U test were used in the bivariate analysis, and a logistic regression was performed in the multivariate analysis. A value of p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Each participant accepted their inclusion in the study after the Informed Consent process was done. Results The average age was 44.0 ± 7.8 years, and 57.3% were women. It was observed that 3.4%, 4.3% and 4.3% of respondents scored highly in emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and lack of personal achievement, respectively. Cigarette smoking presented a direct association with the dimensions of depersonalisation (p = 0.031) and lack of personal achievement (p = 0.025). On the other hand, having completed the postgraduate degree 10 years or more ago showed a negative association in these two dimensions (p = 0.049 and p = 0.045, respectively). Conclusions The results suggest that burnout syndrome is not a frequent problem in dental specialists who work in Bucaramanga and its metropolitan area. However, it is important to keep in mind that a relationship was observed between the syndrome and smoking, and the years after graduating in the specialty.
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As far as the sovereignty of any country is concerned, military is very important, as same as for the corporate world, employee engagement is equally important for the military world. The aim of this study is to unearth some research gaps in the area in the military context. The findings of systematic literature review on employee engagement in the military context has revealed six major research gaps. The unavailability of theoretical and empirical evidence indicating a possible relationship between military organizational culture and employee engagement in the Sri Lankan military context, and perhaps in the international military contexts is the first of many research gaps found. Moreover, absence of theoretical and empirical evidence that examines the link between military virtues and employee engagement in the Sri Lankan military context and may be in the international military contexts , and the lack of empirical evidence related to the relationship between authentic leadership and employee engagement in the Sri Lankan military context are also major research gaps. A similar insufficiency is observed in terms of empirical evidence in terms of a conceptual framework of military organizational culture, military virtues, authentic leadership and extensive training that make a significant impact on employee engagement in the Sri Lankan military context and perhaps in the international military context. As far as the employee Identified research gaps in the literature of employee engagement: a study of the military context 172 Academy of Management-6(2)/2022 engagement as a mediating variable for organizational culture and job performance as well as for military virtues and job performance is concerned, in the Sri Lankan military context and maybe in the international military contexts, no theoretical and empirical evidence are found.
Conference Paper
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This meta-analysis examined how demand and resource correlates and behavioral and attitudinal correlates were related to each of the 3 dimensions of job burnout. Both the demand and resource correlates were more strongly related to emotional exhaustion than to either depersonalization or personal accomplishment. Consistent with the conservation of resources theory of stress, emotional exhaustion was more strongly related to the demand correlates than to the resource correlates, suggesting that workers might have been sensitive to the possibility of resource loss. The 3 burnout dimensions were differentially related to turnover intentions, organizational commitment, and control coping. Implications for research and the amelioration of burnout are discussed.
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The affective variables of job satisfaction and burnout, as experienced in an employing organization, were studied with respect to their relationship to the quality of life in a family organization. Affective measures were obtained from employees working in social services, whereas the assessment of the quality of life was obtained from their spouses. Results indicated that the employee group was generally dissatisfied and burned out, but that these variables did not relate to their self-reported performance assessments. However, the employees' affective responses were related to spousal reports of problems in the family and home life. Relationships between the employee affective responses and the spouse perceptions of family life revealed that the spouse perceptions were more highly related to employees' satisfaction with extrinsic aspects of the work, and with emotional exhaustion and depersonalization components of burnout, than with intrinsic satisfaction or personal accomplishment. These results can be understood in terms of two types of interpersonal communication between employee and spouse: that which is episodic and public (extrinsic satisfaction) vs. chronic or private (intrinsic satisfaction).
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In order lo assess the sources and extent of satisfaction, stress, and burnout in suburban teachers, a group of teachers (n = 365) was administered a 65-item Likert-type Teacher Attitude Survey (TAS). Satisfaction consisted of experiences that make teachers feel sensitive to and involved with students as well as colleagues; stresses were related to excessive paperwork, unsuccessful administrative meetings, and the lack of advancement opportunities in teaching. Although the majority of teachers surveyed had not lessened their involvement in their work and were still committed to teaching, 20-25% appeared vulnerable to burnout, and 10-15% appeared to be already burned out. Most at risk were those at a certain age level t34-44) and those teaching at a junior high school level. Issues that were addressed with respect to burnout included teacher-administrator relationships and teachers’ perceived lack of a psychological sense of community.
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It has been almost twenty years since the term "burnout" first appeared in the psychological literature. The phenomenon that was portrayed in those early articles had not been entirely unknown, but had been rarely acknowledged or even openly discussed. In some occupations, it was almost a taboo topic, because it was considered tantamount to admitting that at times professionals can (and do) act "unprofessionally." The reaction of many people was to deny that such a phenomenon existed, or, if it did exist, to attribute it to a very small (but clearly mentally disturbed) minority. This response made it difficult, at first, for any work on burnout to be taken seriously. However, after the initial articles were published, there was a major shift in opinion. Professionals in the human services gave substantial support to both the validity of the phenomenon and its significance as an occupational hazard. Once burnout was acknowledged as a legitimate issue, it began to attract the attention of various researchers. Our knowledge and understanding of burnout have grown dramatically since that shaky beginning. Burnout is now recognized as an important social problem. There has been much discussion and debate about the phenomenon, its causes and consequences. As these ideas about burnout have proliferated, so have the number of empirical research studies to test these ideas. We can now begin to speak of a "body of work" about burnout, much of which is reviewed and cited within the current volume. This work is now viewed as a legitimate and worthy enterprise that has the potential to yield both scholarly gains and practical solutions. What I would like to do in this chapter is give a personal perspective on the concept of burnout. Having been one of the early "pioneers" in this field, I have the advantage of a long-term viewpoint that covers the twenty years from the birth of burnout to its present proliferation. Furthermore, because my research was among the earliest, it has had an impact on the development of the field. In particular, my definition of burnout, and my measure to assess it (Maslach Burnout Inventory; MBI) have been adopted by many researchers and have thus influenced subsequent theorizing and research. My work has also been the point of departure for various critiques. Thus, for better or for worse, my perspective on burnout has played a part in framing the field, and so it seemed appropriate to articulate that viewpoint within this volume. In presenting this perspective, however, I do not intend to simply give a summary statement of ideas that I have discussed elsewhere. Rather, I want to provide a retrospective review and analysis of why those ideas developed in the ways that they did. Looking back on my work, with the hindsight of twenty years, I can see more clearly how my research path was shaped by both choice and chance. The shape of that path has had some impact on what questions have been asked about burnout (and what have not), as well as on the manner in which 2 answers have been sought. A better understanding of the characteristics of that path will, I think, provide some insights into our current state of knowledge and debate about burnout. In some sense, this retrospective review marks a return to my research roots. The reexamination of my initial thinking about burnout, and an analysis of how that has developed and changed over the years, has led me to renew my focus on the core concept of social relationships. I find it appropriately symbolic that this return to my research roots occurred within the context of a return to my ancestral roots. The 1990 burnout conference that inspired this rethinking took place in southern Poland, from which each of my paternal grandparents, Michael Maslach and Anna Pszczolkowska, emigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. Thus, my travel to Krakow had great significance for me, at both personal and professional levels.
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This study examined work-family conflict, family-work conflict and psychological burnout among nursing staff during a time of hospital restructuring and downsizing. Data were collected from 686 hospital-based nurses, the vast majority women. Nurses reported significantly greater work-family conflict than family-work conflict. Personal demographics but not downsizing and restructuring stressors predicted family-work conflict; downsizing and restructuring stressors but not personal demographics predicted work-family conflict. Restructuring stressors and both work-family conflict and family-work conflict were associated with higher levels of psychological burnout.