New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 32: Burnout and Emotions: An Underresearched Issue in Search of a Theory
Dirk Enzmann Since the early 1970s, burnout research has developed from a science derogatively classiﬁed as ‘pop-psychology’ into an important branch of stress research in occupational and organizational psychology. Whereas 25 years ago anecdotic reports on burned out cases and eﬀorts to clarify the deﬁnition and concept of burnout prevailed, nowadays the practical and scientiﬁc relevance of burnout research is generally acknowledged. This is mainly the consequence of two developments. For one thing, the question of how to deﬁne burnout has been settled quite easily by the establishment of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) (Maslach and Jackson, 1981a; Maslach et al., 1996) as the most widely used instrument to measure burnout, that is emotional exhaustion (feelings of fatigue and of being drained by one’s work), depersonalization (a negative attitude towards and a dehumanizing treatment of clients) and reduced personal accomplishment (lack of feelings of competence and achievements in one’s work with people). The MBI was basically designed to assess burnout in ‘helping’ professions, hence the name, MBI–Human Services Survey (MBI–HSS). To assess burnout within occupations that are not people-oriented, a general version of MBI, the MBI–General Survey (MBI–GS) (Maslach et al., 1996) has been developed. Similar to the MBI–HSS, its three components are denoted as exhaustion, cynicism and eﬃcacy at work. Based upon the MBI and its inductive operationalization of burnout, the MBI–GS extends and generalizes the construct ‘burnout’. Secondly, the burnout phenomenon was taken up by occupational...
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