- New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
36 A mediation model of job burnout 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...
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