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Research Companion to Organizational Health Psychology

Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper

This timely Research Companion is essential reading to advance the understanding of healthy behaviours within working environments and to identify problems which can be the cause of illness. Containing both theoretical and empirical contributions written by distinguished academics working in Europe, North America and Australia, the book covers leading edge topics ranging from current theories of stress, stress management, and stress in specific occupational groups, such as doctors and teachers, to the relationship of stress with well-being. It provides systematic approaches towards practical actions and stress interventions in working environments and a solid theoretical framework for future research. It will be an essential companion to research on psychology and medicine as well as stress.
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Chapter 36: A Mediation Model of Job Burnout

Michael P. Leiter and Christina Maslach


Michael P. Leiter and Christina Maslach A mediation model of job burnout Job stress has been recognized as a significant occupational hazard which can impair both health and work performance (for example Sauter and Murphy, 1995). The worker’s internal experience of stress is assumed to play a mediating role between the impact of external job demands (stressors) and work-related outcomes (such as absenteeism or illness). This basic model should be especially true of the stress phenomenon known as ‘job burnout’, which involves a prolonged response to chronic interpersonal job conditions (Maslach, 1993). Our research in this area leads us to propose that organizational conditions influence a worker’s experience of burnout (or of its positive opposite of job engagement). The level of burnout or engagement will then determine how well the worker does the job, and how he or she feels about the larger organization. For example, assessments of employees’ level of experienced burnout or engagement have predicted clients’ evaluation of service quality (Leiter et al., 1998) and employees’ evaluation of organizational change (Leiter and Harvie, 1998). Two decades of research on burnout have identified the three key dimensions of this phenomenon (exhaustion, cynicism and a lack of effectiveness), a plethora of organizational risk factors across many occupations in various countries, and some work-related outcomes (see Maslach et al., 2001; Schaufeli and Enzmann, 1998). However there has not yet been much research that directly tests the proposed mediation model by including measures of all three model components:...

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