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A review and an integration of research on job burnout falseCordes, Cynthia LPress the Escape key to close ; Dougherty, Thomas

WPress the Escape key to close . Academy of Management. The Academy of Management Review18. 4 (Oct 1993): 621. Burnout is a unique type of stress syndrome, characterized by emotional exhausti on, depersonalization, and diminished personal accomplishment. Although burnout has been shown to be potentially very costly in the helping professions, such as nursing, education, and social work, little work has been done thus far to esta blish its generalizability to industry. The literature on burnout is reviewed an d a conceptual framework designed to improve the understanding of burnout is pro vided. Propositions are presented that are aimed at clarifying the dynamics of b urnout. There is a primary focus on empirical studies that conceptualized job bu rnout according to Maslach's 3-component syndrome and measured it with the Masla ch Burnout Inventory. Burnout can be measured in a reliable and valid fashion. A developing literature on burnout has begun to clarify the position of burnout i n a network of variables included in the study of organizational behavior.

Burnout is a unique type of stress syndrome, characterized by emotional exhausti on, depersonalization, and diminished personal accomplishment. Although burnout has been shown to be potentially very costly in the helping professions, such as nursing, education, and social work, little work has been done thus far to esta blish its generalizability to industry. The literature on burnout is reviewed an d a conceptual framework designed to improve the understanding of burnout is pro vided. Propositions are presented that are aimed at clarifying the dynamics of b urnout. There is a primary focus on empirical studies that conceptualized job bu rnout according to Maslach's 3-component syndrome and measured it with the Masla ch Burnout Inventory. Burnout can be measured in a reliable and valid fashion. A developing literature on burnout has begun to clarify the position of burnout i n a network of variables included in the study of organizational behavior.

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CancelTurn on search term navigationTurn on search term navigationJump to first hitEmpirical evidence has shown that burnout has important dysfunctional ramific ations, implying substantial costs for both organizations and individuals becaus e of, for example, increases in turnover, absenteeism, reduced productivity, and human considerations (Jackson & Maslach, 1982; Leiter & Maslach, 1988; Shirom, 1989). That same research points out the need to understand the many factors and conditions that contribute to burnout in a wide variety of service, industrial, and corporate settings. The effective implementation of individual, managerial, and organizational practices to deal with burnout critically depends on manager s' clear and accurate understanding of the construct. The purposes of this article are to examine the construct of burnout, to conside r how this construct has evolved, and to provide an overview of the literature o n the antecedents and consequences of burnout. In addition, propositions are pre sented regarding the process of burnout, the determinants of burnout, and the in terrelationships among the burnout components. The study of burnout has been unn ecessarily limited to the helping professions, but it is experienced by a variet y of occupational groups beyond nurses, teachers, and social workers. This artic le points to a more widespread occurrence of burnout than has previously been di scussed, and it presents burnout as a key construct in understanding stress proc esses in many jobs and in organizations of all types. This update focuses primarily on empirical studies that conceptualized job burno ut according to Maslach's three-component syndrome and measured it with the Masl ach Burnout Inventory (MBI). This focus facilitates comparisons across studies. Thus, the studies reviewed here (a) are concerned with job burnout (thereby excl uding, for instance, research on student or athlete burnout); (b) define burnout as a response syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment; (c) assess burnout using the most frequently used measu re, the MBI; and (d) empirically test the degree of association between burnout and its antecedents or consequences. Studies were located by both manual and com puter searches, and they were published in major social science journals primari ly between 1983 and 1992. (Readers can review some of the earlier literature in Perlman and Hartman, 1982.) Nonempirical articles or those appearing prior to 19 83 were included only as they reflect the theoretical development of the area. ( Readers might also be interested in related forthcoming work by Schaufeli, Masla ch, and Marek that was not available when this article was being written.) Although we support the conceptualization of burnout as a three-pronged syndrome , we frequently refer to burnout and not to the specific components. We do not b elieve the use of such an umbrella term is appropriate for purposes of investiga tion, but we do believe it is acceptable when discussing the phenomenon more gen erally. Thus, when we discuss results of empirical studies we generally are spec ific regarding the relationships between the independent variables and the parti cular burnout components. At other times, however, for ease of communication, we refer to burnout or the components of burnout. BACKGROUND

Research on burnout began as a result of work conducted on emotion, arousal, and the way in which people cope with, or manage, the arousal (Maslach & Jackson, 1 984). Interviews were conducted with people deemed most likely to experience the phenomena in question, namely health care professionals. From the interviews em erged the realization that the emotional stress inherent in these occupations of ten could be excessively harmful or debilitating. This stream of investigation d ovetailed with a similar set of phenomena in the legal services--phenomena that lawyers who worked with the poor called burnout (Maslach & Jackson, 1984). In ad dition to providing a useful label, the parallel finding suggested that the emot ional strain was not unique to the health care professions. The conclusion was t hat there was evidently something unique about "people work" that could result i n burnout. In the next phase of development, researchers combined pieces of information res ulting from these early explorations into a working set of hypotheses and design ed systematic studies to examine them. Much of this work consisted of authors' p ersonal experiences (e.g., Freudenberger, 1974, 1977a, 1977b) or narratives base d on specific programs or case studies (e.g., Maslach & Pines, 1977; Pines & Mas lach, 1978, 1980), and it was characterized by conceptual disagreement. Perlman and Hartman (1982) compiled a listing of the multiple conceptualizations used du ring this period. Definitions of burnout included (a) to fail, wear out, become exhausted; (b) (r loss of creativity; (c) a loss of commitment for work: (d) an estrangement from clients, co-workers, job, and agency: (e) a response to the ch ronic stress of making it to the top; and finally (f) a syndrome of inappropriat e attitudes toward clients and toward self, often associated with uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms. Although these notions were similar, they lacke d a common and precise measure of burnout. It was not until the late 1970s and early 1980s that systematic empirical studie s on burnout were conducted and published (e.g., Iwanicki & Schwab, 1981; Maslac h & Jackson, 1981). During these years, the concept of burnout was more clearly conceptualized and defined. Also during this period, an accepted, standardized, and psychometrically sound instrument, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, was develo ped to measure burnout (Maslach & Jackson, 1981, 1986). THE CONCEPT OF BURNOUT Today, the most commonly accepted definition of burnout is the three-component c onceptualization used by Maslach and colleagues (Maslach, 1982; Maslach & Jackso n, 1981; Pines & Maslach, 1980). One component of burnout, emotional exhaustion, is characterized by a lack of energy and a feeling that one's emotional resourc es are used up. This "compassion fatigue" may coexist with feelings of frustrati on and tension as workers realize they cannot continue to give of themselves or be as responsible for clients as they have been in the past. A common symptom is dread at the prospect of returning to work for another day. Another component, depersonalization or dehumanization, is marked by the treatment of clients as ob jects rather than people. Workers may display a detached and an emotional callou sness, and they may be cynical toward co-workers, clients, and the organization. Visible symptoms include the use of derogatory or abstract language (e.g., the "kidney" in room 212), strict compartmentalization of professional lives, intell ectualization of the situation, withdrawal through longer breaks or extended con versations with co-workers, and extensive use of jargon (Maslach & Pines, 1977). One classic analogy is that of a petty bureaucrat, going strictly "by the book" to deal with individual clients rather than becoming personally involved enough to tailor a solution or an approach to the client's needs (Daley, 1979). The final component of burnout, diminished personal accomplishment, is character ized by a tendency to evaluate oneself negatively. Individuals experience a decl ine in feelings of job competence and successful achievement in their work or in

teractions with people. Frequently there is the perception of a lack of progress or even lost ground. The problem employee who is routinely receiving disciplina ry citations from the supervisor, or the feelings one might imagine if one were bailing out a leaky boat and realized that the boat may sink, are symptomatic of this component. BURNOUT AS A PROCESS The process of burnout, or the sequencing of the three components of burnout, ha s been conceptualized differently among researchers of burnout. Maslach (1978, 1 982) originally suggested that emotional exhaustion appears first as excessive c hronic work demands drain individuals' emotional resources. Perhaps as a defensi ve coping strategy, they limit their involvement with others and distance themse lves psychologically. This depersonalization provides an emotional buffer betwee n the individual and the imposing job demands. Finally, individuals recognize th e discrepancy between their current attitude and their original optimistic expec tations about their potential contributions to society and to the agency or orga nization. As a result, individuals experience a sense of inadequacy in terms of their ability to relate to people and to perform their jobs. This sequence is ba sed on findings from initial interviews, surveys, and observations. Although she later retreated from such a process model (Maslach & Jackson, 1981, 1986), Masl ach has reasserted the appropriateness of this original sequencing (Leiter & Mas lach, 1988). Studies by Leiter (1988), Leiter and Meechan (1986), and Leiter and Maslach (1988) provide support for such a model, whereas a study by Lee and Ash forth (1993) found only partial support. Others have argued, however, that there is no fixed sequence; one component is not an inevitable consequence of another (Schwab & Iwanicki, 1982a). Another conceptualization of the burnout process is a sequence that was advanced by Golembiewski and Munzenrider (1981, 1984) and Golembiewski (1989). They hypo thesized that significant depersonalization is necessary to diminish feelings of personal accomplishment, and significant reductions in personal accomplishment are necessary to result in high levels of emotional exhaustion. Using the median to divide each subscale into high and low groups, they generated eight phases b ased on a "rule of sequential potencies"; that is, the effect of each component is hypothesized to depend upon its place in the sequence. Each phase is characte rized by some combination of either high or low emotional exhaustion, depersonal ization, and personal accomplishment, and it corresponds to a higher total burno ut level or score than the preceding phase. This methodology has been used in st udies of police officers (Burke & Deszca, 1986: Burke, Shearer, & Deszca, 1984b) , life care workers at a retirement community (Rountree, 1984), teachers (Burke & Greenglass, 1989), middle managers across the public and private sector (Cahoo n & Rowney, 1989), and supervisors, managers, and executives from a variety of t ypes of organizations (Cahoon & Rowney, 1984). (See the Journal of Health and Hu man Resources Administration. 1986, volume 9, and 1991, volume 13, for additiona l discussion and support of the phase model of burnout.) These studies are probl ematic, however, because the authors used a cross-sectional research design to d raw explicit conclusions regarding causality or the process of burnout. BURNOUT AS A TYPE OF STRESS Despite the growing consensus surrounding the concept of burnout, the distinctio n between burnout and stress has not been clearly delineated. It appears that, a s Ganster and Schaubroeck (1991) have argued, burnout is, in fact, a type of str ess--specifically, a chronic affective response pattern to stressful work condit ions that features high levels of interpersonal contact, Similar to the case of burnout, several different conceptualizations of stress h ave been proffered. Although most researchers define stress as an outgrowth of p erson-environment interactions or "fit" (e.g., French & Caplan, 1972; McGrath, 1

976; Schuler, 1980) or as a result of dysfunctional role relationships (Kahn, Wo lfe, Quinn, Snoek, & Rosenthal, 1964), there has traditionally been little defin itional or operational agreement among job stress conceptualizations (Schuler, 1 980). On this basis, a number of authors advocated the treatment of stress as a general concept that can provide a "framework" for research on a number of probl ems (e.g., McGrath, 1976). Building on the work of McGrath (1976), however, Schuler (1980) provided some mu ch needed conceptual clarity, which has been widely accepted. and which has clea red up much of the previous confusion about the essential qualities of job stres s. McGrath and Schuler defined stress as a dynamic condition in which an individ ual is confronted with an opportunity, constraint, or demand on being/having/doi ng what one desires and for which resolution is perceived to have uncertainty bu t which will lead to important outcomes. This conceptualization can subsume many different stress problems, including burnout. Burnout is a distinctive aspect o f stress in that it has been defined and studied primarily as a pattern of respo nses to stressors at work (Shirom, 1989). The burnout response syndrome begins t o a great extent as a result of demands (Schuler and McGrath's terminology), inc luding interpersonal stressors. Thus, burnout represents a particular type of jo b stress, in which a pattern of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and dim inished personal accomplishment (strains) result from a variety of work demands (stressors), especially those of an interpersonal nature. Moreover, the concepts of uncertainty and of the importance of outcomes should be as relevant to the e xperience of burnout as to other kinds of stress responses generated by various work demands and constraints. The three-component model that burnout represents is unique as a stress phenomen on. At its core is emotional exhaustion, which is a traditional stress variable. The second component, depersonalization, is a new construct, not formerly appea ring in the stress literature (Jackson, Schwab, & Schuler, 1986). Finally, altho ugh feelings of personal accomplishment (related to such concepts as self-effica cy) are familiar to the stress literature, the third component of burnout, a dim inished level of this variable, adds the assertion that self-evaluations are cen tral to the stress experience. BURNOUT: MEASUREMENT AND CONSTRUCT VALIDITY In the initial development of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (Maslach & Jackson, 1981), 47 items were administered to a sample of 605 individuals from a wide var iety of service occupations. Ten factors emerged and, based on a variety of elim ination criteria, four factors, composed of 25 items, were then administered to a new sample of 420 individuals from similar occupations. The same four factors emerged from this confirmatory sample, three of which had eigenvalues greater th an 1. These three factors, composed of 22 items, make up the subscales of the MB I. Respondents indicate the frequency and the intensity with which each item is experienced, with the scale ranging from 1 ("a few times a year") to 6 ("every d ay") for frequency, and from 1 ("very mild, barely noticeable") to 7 ("very stro ng, major") for intensity. A space is provided to indicate if the item is never experienced by the respondent. Although high scores on emotional exhaustion and depersonalization reflect high burnout, the personal accomplishment subscale is reverse scored: thus low scores reflect high burnout. The instrument does not me asure the presence or absence of burnout per se. Rather, experienced levels of b urnout fall on a continuum. For instance, high scores on the emotional exhaustio n and depersonalization subscales and low scores on the personal accomplishment subscale (this subscale is reverse scored) reflect high levels of burnout and vi ce versa. No predictions are made concerning critical threshold levels. Subsequent research using the MBI has revealed that the intensity and frequency dimensions of burnout are highly correlated (Anderson & Iwanicki, 1984; Brooking s, Bolton, Brown, & McEvoy, 1985; Gaines & Jermier, 1983), so the revised versio

n of the MBI (Maslach & Jackson, 1986) includes only the frequency dimension. De spite this correlation, a number of researchers have continued to use the intens ity dimension alone (Friesen, Prokop, & Sarros, 1988; Friesen & Sarros, 1989; Ja ckson, Turner, & Brief, 1987; Leiter & Meechan, 1986). The user's manual of the MBI research edition also includes normative data for a variety of demographic v ariables and helping occupations (Maslach & Jackson, 1986). Researchers have analyzed the convergent and discriminant validity of the scale in a number of ways (Maslach & Jackson, 1981, 1986). For example, to test for co nvergent validity, correlations were analyzed between MBI scores and behavioral ratings made independently by a person who knew the respondent well. As predicte d, co-workers' and spouses' ratings were significantly positively correlated wit h the respondents' own ratings of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and were significantly negatively correlated with the respondents' ratings of perso nal accomplishment. Also, correlations were analyzed between MBI scores and cert ain job characteristics hypothesized to contribute to burnout (e.g., a greater n umber of clients is positively correlated with emotional exhaustion and deperson alization and negatively correlated with personal accomplishment). Finally, corr elations between MBI scores and measures of various outcomes hypothesized to be related to burnout were analyzed. Again, the empirical evidence is consistent wi th the hypothesized relationships. Support for the discriminant validity of the scale is seen in a significant, alt hough small, positive correlation between MBI scores and job satisfaction (Masla ch & Jackson, 1986: Wolpin, Burke, & Greenglass, 1991). In addition, correlation s between MBI scores and the Crowne-Marlowe Social Desirability Scale were not s ignificant. Thus, responses to the burnout scale do not appear to be influenced by a social desirability response set. Iwanicki and Schwab (1981) and Gold (1984 ) cross-validated the MBI on a group of teachers, finding the same basic constru cts. It should be emphasized that a systematic assessment of the convergent and discriminant validity using the Multitrait-Multimethod Matrix approach has not a ppeared in the literature. Even though there is growing evidence of the psychometric soundness of the MBI, several authors have reported high correlations between emotional exhaustion and depersonalization (e.g., Koeske & Koeske, 1989; Lee & Ashforth, 1990; Wolpin et al., 1991). Some researchers have found support for a two-component model (Broo kings et al., 1985), whereas others have argued for a three-component model (Gre en & Walkey, 1988; Lee & Ashforth, 1990). Results of confirmatory factor analyse s, however, seem to generally support the existence of three distinct components of burnout (Fimian & Blanton, 1987; Gold, 1984; Golembiewski & Munzenrider, 198 1; Green & Walkey, 1988; Maslach & Jackson, 1981, 1986). It has also been suggested that the items assessing the three components of burn out can be summed to form an overall measure of burnout (Golembiewski & Munzenri der, 1981; Meier, 1984). Golembiewski and Munzenrider (1981) found that a total burnout score covaried significantly and in expected directions with a variety o f variables hypothesized to be important aspects of the worksite. Meier (1984) a rgued that a greater number of items would contribute to greater reliability for the burnout instrument. He also argued that a total score has good internal con sistency (.88 in his study). Maslach, however, has argued against viewing burnout as a unitary concept. Empir ical evidence supports the idea that emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, an d personal accomplishment are conceptually distinct components (Iwanicki & Schwa b, 1981; Maslach & Jackson, 1981). The importance of maintaining three distinct components is also illustrated by the differential patterns of correlations betw een each component and other study variables, such as age, workload, autonomy, j ob challenge, satisfaction with status and recognition, role conflict, and role ambiguity (Friesen et al., 1988: Jackson et al., 1986; Maslach & Jackson, 1984;

Schwab & Iwanicki, 1982a). That is, some variables are differentially correlated , or even uncorrelated, with each of the three components, although findings hav e not been highly consistent. Further, if other variables are differentially ass ociated with burnout components, then it is plausible that intervention strategi es would also be differentially effective, depending on the particular burnout c omponent that is being addressed. Thus, an overall measure of burnout results in a loss of information. ANTECEDENTS OF BURNOUT The many demands, constraints, and other factors that compose the antecedents of burnout can be grouped into three broad categories. The first category consists of job and role characteristics. It appears from the literature that the most c ritical variables are the characteristics of the employee-client relationship. R ole characteristics consist of role overload, ambiguity, and conflict. The secon d category, organizational characteristics, includes variables such as job conte xt and contingency of rewards and punishments. The final category addresses pers onal characteristics. JOB AND ROLE CHARACTERISTICS The role of the client in service-provision interactions, and the expectations o f the service providers themselves, have been shown to contribute to an explanat ion of experienced burnout. Client interactions that are more direct, frequent, or of longer duration, for example, or client problems that are chronic (versus acute) are associated with higher levels of burnout. Role conflict, role ambigui ty, and role overload have been shown to be associated with burnout to varying d egrees. Individuals who report higher levels of these role variables also report higher levels of burnout. ROLE OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS. Most of the systematic research on the concept of burnout has focused on individuals in the helping professions, specifically h ealth, social services, and teaching, where burnout is typically believed to be most frequently and intensely experienced because of the high level of arousal f rom direct, frequent, and rather intense interactions with clients. As a result, the term client has taken on a more narrow, limiting connotation. In this artic le, client refers to any individual, internal or external, with whom one interac ts on a professional basis. Maslach (1978) theorized that the potential for emotional strain is greatest for workers in the helping professions because they are constantly dealing with oth er people and their problems. Their work involves extensive and direct face-to-f ace contact with other people in emotionally charged situations. In many of thes e professions, feedback from either the client or the organization sources is ei ther nonexistent, or is almost exclusively negative. The potential stressfulness of these interactions is likely to be affected, in p art, by the stance of the clients during these interactions. Depending on the si tuation, clients may be aggressive, passive-dependent, or defensive (Maslach & J ackson, 1984). Further, these clients are relying on the service providers to he lp them. The belief of the service provider that he or she alone is responsible for ensuring the future well-being of this client can be an awesome and exhausti ng burden (Maslach, 1982). The problem or strain is often compounded by an exces sively heavy client load. As a result, research has focused on the role of the client and the employee's c aseload in contributing to burnout. Jackson and colleagues (1986) suggested that caseload can be divided into quantitative and qualitative dimensions. The quant itative dimensions include frequency of contact, duration of contact, number of interactions, and percent of time spent with clients. The quantitative aspects o

f client caseload most commonly investigated are number of interactions or clien ts and amount of time spent with clients. Most of these investigations have repo rted on the relationship of classroom size to burnout and the effect of amount o f break time, or time outs, on burnout (Maslach & Pines, 1977: Pines & Maslach, 1978). As the number of clients increases, the demands on the employee's persona l resources increase. If these demands are continuous, rather than intermittent, the employee may be vulnerable to burnout. Qualitative dimensions of client caseload involve interpersonal distance (e.g., phone contact versus face-to-face contact) and client characteristics (e.g., chr onic versus acute, child versus teenager). Both of these qualitative dimensions represent a kind of psychological or interpersonal intensity of contacts with cl ients. The qualitative dimension most commonly studied involves the effects of t he type of client problem at issue. Grade level taught (Anderson & Iwanicki, 198 4; Gold, 1985: Schwab & Iwanicki, 1982b) and severity of a student's mental hand icap (Zabel & Zabel, 1982), for example, affect experienced levels of the burnou t components for teachers. Theoretically, the nature of the client's situation c an be described as more or less stressful, it can be chronic or acute, and it ca n have a higher or lower probability of success or cure. In many cases, there ma y be a lack of obvious change or improvement in the situations of a large propor tion of the clients as a result of the services rendered. Several clients may di sappear after service provision, only to return later with essentially the same needs. These factors hypothetically affect both the intensity and the duration, which, in turn, affect the overall stress associated with the interaction (Masla ch, 1978). Studies by VanYperen, Buunk, and Schaufeli (1992) and Leiter and Maslach (1988) examined additional aspects of interactions. VanYperen and colleagues (1992) fou nd that nurses' perceived imbalance in their relationships with patients was ass ociated with higher levels of burnout. That is, nurses who believed they investe d more in their patients than they received in return, in the form of positive f eedback, health improvements, appreciation, and gratitude, also reported higher levels of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished personal accom plishment. In a study of workers in a mental health organization, Leiter and Maslach (1988) investigated the effects of different sources and types of interpersonal contac t. They looked at contact with co-workers and supervisors, and distinguished bet ween pleasant and unpleasant co-worker and supervisor contacts. Among the group of nurses, unpleasant supervisor contact was positively related to emotional exh austion, whereas pleasant supervisor contact was negatively related to depersona lization and pleasant co-worker contact was positively related to personal accom plishment. Although these variables have been viewed mainly but not exclusively in the cont ext of client or service recipient contacts (e.g., nurse-patient or teacher-stud ent interactions), they may provide insight into the generalizability of burnout . Maslach and Jackson (1984) and Shirom (1989) noted that there are many occupat ions not included under the rubric of the helping professions, but where interpe rsonal contacts cause strain, in which employees may therefore be vulnerable to burnout. Pines and Aronson (1981), for example, found that dentists experience b urnout. Jackson and Schuler (1983) and Jackson (1984) have speculated that manag ers and supervisors also may experience burnout because they are required to hel p their employees resolve job-related and personal difficulties. ROLE CONFLICT AND ROLE AMBIGUITY. Role conflict occurs as a result of incongruit y or incompatibility of expectations communicated to a. role incumbent by his or her role senders (Kahn, 1978: Kahn et al., 1964). Role ambiguity is associated with one's need for certainty and predictability, especially regarding one's goa ls and means of accomplishing them. It may occur if an individual lacks adequate

information to accomplish required activities, as, for example, when informatio n is restricted or not clearly defined or articulated (Jackson & Schuler, 1985). Lack of clarity regarding proper procedures for performing job tasks or criteri a for performance evaluations (Miles & Perreault, 1976) results in role ambiguit y. Role conflict and ambiguity have received attention in the burnout literature. S chwab and Iwanicki (1982a) found that these two variables accounted for a signif icant amount of variance in the emotional exhaustion and depersonalization dimen sions for a sample of 469 teachers, whereas role ambiguity accounted for a. sign ificant, though much smaller, amount of variance in personal accomplishment. Bro okings and colleagues (1985) reported statistically significant relationships be tween perceived role conflict and role ambiguity and all three burnout component s for 135 female human service professionals. Jackson and her colleagues (1986), however, found role conflict to be significantly associated with emotional exha ustion, but not with personal accomplishment or depersonalization in their study of 248 teachers; role ambiguity was found to be significantly related to person al accomplishment. Leiter and Maslach (1988) found role conflict was significant ly related to emotional exhaustion for a sample of nurses, whereas Jackson and h er colleagues (1987) found it was related to emotional exhaustion as well as dep ersonalization for 391 public service lawyers. Fimian and Blanton (1987) found b oth role variables were related to total burnout for a sample of teacher trainee s and first-year teachers. Although only a few studies have investigated the effects of role ambiguity and role conflict on burnout, the findings across them are very consistent. Because role conflict and role ambiguity are not limited to human service professions, t he relationship between these role variables and burnout would be expected to be equivalent in corporate and industrial settings as well. ROLE OVERLOAD. As originally conceptualized, burnout was believed to result part ially from qualitative and quantitative overload (Maslach & Jackson, 1984). Indi viduals experiencing qualitative overload feel they lack the basic skills or tal ents necessary to complete the task effectively. Quantitative overload refers to the individual's perception that the work cannot be done in the allotted time ( Kahn, 1978; Pines & Maslach, 1978). In m(my organizations this may come about be cause of resource scarcity and the continual threat of cutbacks (Jackson, 1984). As a result, staff workers may often be overloaded with cases, clients, or stud ents (Maslach, 1976). Empirical investigation to date has focused on the effects of quantitative overl oad on individuals' burnout scores, with very consistent findings. Higher staffchild ratios in day-care centers (Maslach & Pines, 1977) and school classrooms ( Russell, Altmaier, & Van Velzen, 1987), for example, are associated with higher experienced levels of the burnout components. Given the theoretical basis for ob serving an effect of qualitative overload on burnout levels, however, future stu dies should focus on this relationship, especially as it applies in corporate an d industrial settings. ORGANIZATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS Even though many researchers have investigated how variables associated directly with the job or task contribute to burnout, the question of how variables assoc iated with the organization itself and its policies may be related to burnout ha s received comparatively little attention. In this section, we consider how this category of variables, specifically contingency of organizational outcomes and job context, might affect burnout. CONTINGENCY AND NONCONTINGENCY OF ORGANIZATIONAL OUTCOMES. The role of contingen cy of organizational outcomes (i.e., the extent to which rewards and punishment

are linked to performance) in contributing to burnout has both intuitive appeal and theoretical justification. The two problematic conditions are lack of contin gent rewards and the presence of noncontingent punishment. This phenomenon, howe ver, has received little attention in the literature. Jackson and colleagues (19 86) studied contingency of organizational outcomes in two ways. First, they exam ined contingency of outcomes as a job condition that might contribute to burnout . Second, they examined the role of this variable in the experience of unmet org anizational expectations. In neither case, however, did they find significant re lationships. Although they suggested that the lack of significant relationships may have been due to methodological problems, the theoretical arguments appear t o justify further investigation of this variable as a potential contributor to b urnout. JOB CONTEXT. Empirical evidence indicates that specific context affects the inci dence of stress and burnout in the workplace (Gaines & Jermier, 1983; Parasurama n & Alutto, 1981; Pretty, McCarthy, & Catano, 1992). The context is characterize d by a variety of factors, such as subsystem, work shift, and psychological envi ronment, which have been shown to contribute to burnout. As discussed previously , a critical factor contributing to burnout may be the nature of the employee-cl ient relationship. If job contexts differ significantly by the types of interact ion that characterize them (e.g., frequency, intensity), context would, in turn, be differentially related to burnout. For example, managers who perform boundar y-spanning functions have a high frequency (and perhaps intensity) of interperso nal contact, whereas production managers' environments are characterized by much less frequent or intense interpersonal contact. Similarly, service representati ves or sales representatives, who act mainly as boundary spanners, have more int erpersonal contact than will information system specialists. Pretty and colleagues (1992) studied the effects of psychological environment, j ob level, and gender on burnout among managerial and nonmanagerial telecommunica tions employees. They found that women experienced more emotional exhaustion and depersonalization if they were nonmanagers, whereas men experienced more emotio nal exhaustion and depersonalization if they were managers. Gaines and Jermier (1983), in a study of police officers. found that levels of e motional exhaustion differed across departments. They suggested that this differ ence was due to the higher status and enriched nature of the work in some depart ments versus others. It is more likely, however, that specialty area is acting a s a. surrogate for other variables, most notably interpersonal or client interac tions. If the nature of interactions had been assessed, and then their effects p artialed out, it seems doubtful that departmental context would have contributed significantly to the variance in burnout. PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS Finally, certain demographic characteristics have been shown to contribute to an explanation of why some individuals experience burnout and why others remain vi rtually unaffected by it. In addition, social support, defined in a variety of p rofessional and personal ways, is generally related to lower levels of the burno ut components. Employees whose organization and achievement expectations are mor e discrepant from the current realities of the workplace report higher levels of burnout. Finally, the relationship between burnout and one's career progress ha s not yet been investigated. DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES. Men and women often report differences in levels of the t hree burnout components, but there is mixed evidence concerning the pattern and complexity of relationships (Lemkau, Rafferty, Purdy, & Rudisill, 1987: Maslach & Jackson, 1981, 1985; Pretty et al., 1992: Schwab & Iwanicki, 1982b). Younger i ndividuals consistently report higher levels of the burnout components (Anderson & Iwanicki, 1984: Maslach & Jackson, 1981; Russell et al., 1987; Schwab & Iwani

cki, 1982b: Stevens & O'Neill, 1983; Zabel & Zabel, 1982), but one study found t hat more experienced employees reported lower levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization (Anderson & Iwanicki, 1984). There is some evidence that marr ied individuals report lower levels of the burnout components (Maslach & Jackson , 1985), and individuals with children consistently report lower levels of the b urnout components (Maslach & Jackson, 1985). These results are summarized in Tab le 1. (Table 1 omitted) The moderating effects of these variables have either no t been studied or their results were not significant and thus not reported. An e xception is Gaines and Jermier's (1983) study of emotional exhaustion in a polic e organization. They found a significant interactive effect between departmental context and gender, but not between context and either years in position or mar ital status. SOCIAL SUPPORT. The effects of social support on stress and burnout have receive d extensive attention in the literature (Caplan, 1974: Cohen & Wills, 1985; Cons table 8z Russell, 1986: Maslach & Jackson, 1984). Social support appears to have a positive effect on individuals' well-being through two different processes (C herniss, 1980b). First, support has been identified as a buffer or moderator bet ween job-related stress and the pathogenic influences of stressful events. This may occur in one of two ways. Support can help individuals redefine the potentia l harm in the situation, or it can enhance their belief that they can cope with the situation by increasing their perception that others will provide the necess ary resources (Cohen & Wills, 1985). In addition, the buffering model suggests t hat social support buffers the relationship of stressors with use of adaptive co ping (Kirmeyer & Dougherty, 1988). Second, social support can have a main or direct effect on experienced stress. S ocial support is positively related to psychological and physical health, irresp ective of the presence or absence of life or work stressors (Dignam, Barrera, & West, 1986). The accumulating evidence has provided support for both the bufferi ng model and the direct model of social support. Both models seem to be correct in certain situations, but each represents a different process through which soc ial support affects well-being (Cohen & Wills, 1985). Numerous studies relating support to burnout have considered the buffering effec t. Greater perceived social support from co-workers or supervisors in day-care c enters (Maslach & Pines, 1977), elementary and secondary schools (Jackson et al. , 1986: Russell et al., 1987: Zabel & Zabel, 1982), hospitals (Constable & Russe ll, 1986), and U.S. legal agencies (Jackson et al., 1987) is associated with low er reported levels of the burnout components. In a series of studies, Leiter (1988, 1990, 1991) explored the direct effect of several facets of social support. In a study of workers in a mental health organ ization, he recognized the role of personal, informal, and professional support (Leiter, 1988). He found that informal contacts or support was positively relate d to personal accomplishment. Professional support, however, played a dual role of both alleviating and aggravating burnout. Although professional support was r elated to higher feelings of personal accomplishment, it was also positively rel ated to emotional exhaustion. In a related study, Leiter (1990) defined personal support as family resources and organization support as skill utilization, that is, the opportunity for implementation and development of skills. He found that personal support was negatively related to emotional exhaustion and depersonali zation, whereas organization support was negatively related to depersonalization and diminished personal accomplishment. In a third study, Leiter (1991) examine d three types of organization supports: skill utilization, co-worker support, an d supervisor support. As before, skill utilization was positively related to per sonal accomplishment, but it was negatively related to emotional exhaustion. Coworker support was negatively related to depersonalization and positively relate d to personal accomplishment. Supervisor support was not significantly related t o any of the components.

This line of research highlights the distinct pattern of relationships among var iables and the three burnout components, and it also points out the complicated nature of support and the role it plays in burnout. Not only are the sources of support differentially effective on the burnout components, they may also have n egative effects. This research suggests that professional and personal sources o f support are largely independent of one another. It is important for future researchers to attempt to identify the specific aspec ts of support that either contribute to or result in a reduction of burnout. Fur thermore, although conceptual research on burnout identifies both professional a nd personal sources of social support, most of the research to date has investig ated the professional or organizational resources. A better understanding of the effects of personal sources of social support can contribute to an understandin g of the relative importance of the variables associated with burnout. This unde rstanding becomes increasingly important as the number of households with two em ployed adults continues to increase. A better understanding of the intricacies o f the work-nonwork interface, and the implications that this interface has for p ersonal sources of support, is an important and timely concern. PERSONAL EXPECTATIONS. Employees' expectations about the profession, the organiz ation, and their own personal efficacy also make a significant contribution to b urnout (Cherniss, 1980; Jackson & Schuler, 1983; Maslach & Jackson, 1984) and re present a source of "demands" placed upon themselves in their work. Jackson and colleagues (1986) referred to these as achievement expectations and organization al expectations. Achievement expectations are the individuals' beliefs about wha t they will be able to accomplish with clients. Organizational expectations refe r to the individuals' expectations about the nature of the professional system i n general and the job in particular. Many of these expectations are inculcated b y the individual's most recent training environment (Gold, 1985) or are shaped b y recruiters interested in selling the organization to applicants (Wanous, 1973) . Besides high expectations, unmet expectations can also be a source of burnout. A s individuals enter the profession or change their organizational affiliation, t hey compare their expectations with their experiences. The resulting discrepancy will influence employees' reactions to their jobs (Porter & Steers, 1973). The greater the discrepancy, the greater the effects re likely to be for both the ne w employee and the organization (Wanous, 1973, 1976). Jackson and her colleagues (1986) studied the effects of unmet expectations on r eported burnout of 248 teachers. They hypothesized that emotional exhaustion, fe elings of depersonalization, and feelings of low personal accomplishment would b e associated with higher levels of unmet expectations, but they found no support for their hypothesis. They suggested that this lack of association was because the unmet expectations of their respondents were assessed without regard to tenu re on the job. Such a measure is contaminated by the effects of memory deteriora tion. In addition, the measure they used required respondents to calculate and r eport, in a single step. the discrepancy between their early expectations and th e current situation for a variety of job factors. A more precise and direct meas ure of unmet expectations would result if respondents report on their early expe ctations and the current situation separately, leaving the discrepancy calculati on for the researchers. Another expectation variable that may contribute to burnout concerns shifts in e xpectations. Research has shown that older, more experienced employees tend to e xperience lower levels of burnout than do younger employees. One explanation for this discrepancy may be that older employees have actually shifted their expect ation set to fit reality based on their experiences. For example, individuals ma y lower their expectations of the levels of client gratitude and organizational

resources. Stevens and O'Neill (1983) examined the roles that expectations and e xpectation shifts play in burnout and found that total expectation score was cor related with perceptions of diminished personal accomplishment. Expectation shif ts were correlated with all three burnout scales; higher levels of burnout were associated with negative expectation shifts (i.e., organizational realities are worse than originally expected). Less experienced employees maintained client-fo cused expectations and thus reported higher levels of burnout, whereas more expe rienced employees shifted their expectations from client progress, for example, to their own competencies. These findings, however, stemmed from a cross-section al methodology. CAREER PROGRESS. Individuals who have had greater upward career movement may exp erience less burnout. If one keeps the symptoms of the three components of burno ut in mind, there may be three possible explanations for this hypothesized relat ionship. First, repeated promotion is generally accompanied by a reduction in cl ient contact (Maslach, 1982). This change reduces an individual's susceptibility to emotional exhaustion resulting from the demands of client interaction. Secon d, greater career advancement relative to peers may signify to individuals that they are making a positive contribution. In fact, in some cases, this may be a r are piece of positive feedback. This measure of accomplishment can help counter any feelings of diminished personal accomplishment stemming from other sources. Finally, individuals who have had reasonable career progress are more likely to believe that the organization has appropriate policies and procedures and that t he policies and procedures regarding promotions are fair and equitable. An envir onment that is perceived as being predictable and fair is less likely to induce learned helplessness: therefore, the depersonalization that often ensues from su ch learned helplessness is likely to be minimized. Despite its theoretical merit , this variable has not received attention in the literature on burnout. INDIVIDUAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF BURNOUT The importance of burnout as a practical concern is illustrated by its associati on with negative organizational outcomes and various types of personal dysfuncti on. Although many of the consequences discussed here are not unique to burnout, they illustrate how potentially costly and damaging burnout can be and highlight the importance of better management to deal with the problem. In a recent revie w, Kahill (1988) grouped the consequences of burnout into five categories: physi cal, emotional, interpersonal, attitudinal, and behavioral. Although empirical e vidence supporting these relationships is scant (especially evidence that meets the criteria set forth in the beginning of this article), certain general conclu sions can be drawn. PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL CONSEQUENCES The burnout components have been linked with a variety of mental and physical he alth problems (Burke & Deszca, 1986; Maslach & Pines, 1977). Deterioration of me ntal health is characterized by decreases in feelings of self-esteem, depression , irritability, helplessness, or anxiety (Jackson & Maslach, 1982: Kahill, 1988) . Physical health problems include, for example, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, a nd gastrointestinal disturbances (Kahill, 1988). In a study of supervisors and managers from a public welfare agency, Lee and Ash forth (1990) found psychological and physiological strain and helplessness to be associated with higher levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Bu rke and Deszca (1986) assessed how often respondents experienced 18 physical con ditions, including poor appetite, headaches, and chest pains, and found that thi s measure of psychosomatic symptoms was positively related to the burnout compon ents. Similarly, on the basis of self-reports and reports of spouses, Jackson an d Maslach (1982) reported that police workers who experienced significant levels of the burnout components returned home from work tense and anxious.

INTERPERSONAL CONSEQUENCES The deleterious effects of job-related activities on individuals' relationships with family and friends and on their personal lives have gained increasing recog nition as researchers have become aware of the link between work and nonwork dom ains (Jackson & Maslach, 1982). In particular, the links between burnout and the deterioration of social and family relationships and the links between burnout and work-nonwork conflict have received empirical support (Burke & Deszca, 1986; Jackson & Maslach, 1982). In a study of 142 couples (where one spouse was a police officer), Jackson and M aslach (1982) found that individuals experiencing burnout tended to withdraw fro m their friends and reduced their socializing. In addition, the police officers reported being unable to shake off the professional role when they left the job. The spouses reported that the officers, when dealing with the children, handled them as they would someone in a professional situation. Burke and Deszca (1986) and Burke and colleagues (1984a) studied the relationshi p between burnout and work-nonwork conflict also among police workers. They asse ssed the impact of the officers' job and job demands on nine areas of personal, home, and family life, and they combined these areas into a single measure of wo rk-nonwork conflict. They found that those individuals who reported higher level s of the burnout components also reported a greater negative impact of the job d emands on their personal, home, and family lives. Interpersonal consequences also include changes in the nature or frequency of in teractions with clients and co-workers (Jackson & Schuler, 1983). In studies con ducted at day-care centers, child care workers who experienced higher levels of the burnout components experienced greater impatience and moodiness and less tol erance. They also reported withdrawing more from clients, either by talking with other staff more or by taking longer breaks and lunch periods (Maslach & Pines, 1977). In their study of public contact workers, Maslach and Jackson (1985) als o found support for the link between the burnout components and the desire to sp end less time with the public as well as a link between the burnout components a nd poorer co-worker relations. ATTITUDINAL CONSEQUENCES Attitudinal consequences involve the development of negative attitudes toward cl ients, the job, the organization, or oneself (Kahill, 1988). In studies of polic e workers (Burke et al., 1984a; Jackson & Maslach, 1982) and public contact work ers (Maslach & Jackson, 1985), for example, employees reported higher levels of dissatisfaction. In Jackson and Maslach's (1982) study, even the spouses of the workers developed negative attitudes toward the police officer's job. The burnou t components also have been linked to lower levels of organizational commitment for public service lawyers (Jackson et al., 1987) and nurses (Leiter & Maslach, 1988). BEHAVIORAL CONSEQUENCES Behavioral consequences of burnout entail work-or organization-related behaviors as well as consumption behaviors. Organizational outcomes include turnover (Jac kson et al., 1986), absenteeism (Firth & Britton, 1989), and decreases in the qu ality and quantity of job performance (Maslach & Jackson, 1985). Consumption beh aviors include behaviors such as smoking and drug and alcohol use. In studies of police workers (Burke & Deszca, 1986; Burke, Shearer, & Deszca, 19 84a; Jackson & Maslach, 1982), individuals reporting higher levels of the burnou t components were more likely to report intentions to leave their jobs. They als

o reported higher levels of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. Jackson and her coll eagues (1986) found that teachers' thoughts about leaving their jobs were signif icantly associated with their reported levels of all three burnout components, b ut actual turnover levels were significantly associated with emotional exhaustio n. In another study, Firth and Britton (1989) investigated the relationship between burnout and turnover and between burnout and absenteeism among nurses. They fou nd that actual turnover of nurses was associated only moderately with depersonal ization, and there wars no significant relationship between turnover and either emotional exhaustion or feelings of reduced personal accomplishment. Absenteeism was reported to be higher for those nurses experiencing higher levels of emotio nal exhaustion (Firth & Britton, 1989), although this relationship was significa nt only for longer periods of absence. Finally, among public contact employees i n a federal service agency, Maslach and Jackson (1985) found that the burnout co mponents are linked not only to intent to leave a job but also to poorer job pre paration. Thus, as the scant but growing body of evidence illustrates, the consequences of burnout have some very real physical, emotional, interpersonal, attitudinal, an d behavioral implications. Not only does the individual suffer, but the employee 's family and friends, the organization, and the people with whom the employee i nteracts during the work day all bear the costs of this organizational problem. RESEARCH PROPOSITIONS: TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF BURNOUT Stress theorists such as McGrath (1976) and Schuler (1980) have described stress as resulting from demands, constraints, or opportunities presented to employees . Employees experience the strongest responses ("strains") to these demands when they perceive uncertainty about the ability to handle the demands and when the consequences of handling the demands are important. Burnout is a response to dem and stressors (e.g., workload) placed upon an employee, and it is distinguishabl e from other forms of stress because it represents a set of responses to a high level of chronic work demands, entailing very important interpersonal obligation s and responsibilities. Because of the high level of arousal, employees begin to feel emotionally exhausted after repeated exposure to these important demands, using depersonalization of clients as a coping strategy. Finally, they begin to feel a diminished sense of personal accomplishment, especially when their work e nvironment provides little feedback and few rewards for work accomplishments. Th ese relationships are summarized in Figure 1. (Figure 1 omitted) Many researchers consider emotional exhaustion to be the key to the experience o f burnout, and the first stage of the burnout process (Gaines & Jermier, 1983; M aslach, 1982). Burnout (and especially emotional exhaustion) has been consistent ly shown to be directly related to high levels of work demand(Shirom, 1989). We believe that the key determinants of emotional exhaustion reflect both organizat ional and personal demands placed upon employees. For example, quantitative work overload (the perception of too much work to accomplish in the time available) is an important determinant of emotional exhaustion. Individuals' attempts to ma intain performance standards despite insufficient time and staff may lead to an excessive expenditure of time and emotional energy, thus leading to emotional ex haustion. Despite a lack of comparability across the literature on burnout, work load has been consistently linked to emotional exhaustion in the vast majority o f studies. Particular aspects of workload that were linked to emotional exhausti on have been found in the works of Friesen and Sarros (1989), Jackson and her co lleagues (1986, 1987), Maslach and Pines (1977), and Pines and Maslach (1978). Role conflict is also a job demand that can contribute to emotional exhaustion i n the burnout process. Employees may experience a variety of different kinds of conflicting role expectations from different sources or role senders (Kahn et al

., 1964). Intersender conflict, for example, occurs when demands from one's supe rvisor conflict with the demands from clients. Person-role conflict occurs when expectations from one's job conflict with one's values or personal beliefs. Atte mpts to reconcile conflicting demands may be frustrating and emotionally taxing (Fisher & Gitelson, 1983). Numerous studies have found links between role confli ct and emotional exhaustion (e.g., Jackson et al., 1986: Jackson et al., 1987). In addition to organization and role demands, individuals may place demands on t hemselves that lead to emotional exhaustion. Maslach (1982), for example, has wr itten about expectations for achievement as a key factor, suggesting that those who begin to burn out (i.e., experience emotional exhaustion) tend to be overach ievers who have unrealistic expectations and are typically younger employees. Th ese characteristics have been confirmed by links between age and emotional exhau stion in the literature (Anderson & Iwanicki, 1984; Gold, 1985; Russell et al., 1987; Zabel & Zabel, 1982). Thus, young, idealistic employees who have high expe ctations about their own accomplishments are subject to exhaustion in response t o these high demands (Gold, 1985; Maslach, 1982; Maslach & Jackson, 1981; Maslac h & Jackson, 1984; Saxton, Phillips, & Blakeney, 1991). Individuals also may generate high demands in terms of expectations for the orga nization in which they work. New employees often expect much from themselves, an d they also expect a lot from the organization: frequently these organizational expectations are especially high when the employee enters the organization (Wano us, 1973). High expectations in terms of work challenge, rewards and recognition , career advancement, and many other aspects of work can create intrinsic demand stress. New employees may also believe that they can change conditions in the o rganization, expectations that are often unrealistic (Maslach, 1982). Similarly, employees with high levels of job involvement (Lodahl & Kejner, 1965) and who h old work as a central life interest (Dubin, 1956) are more likely candidates for emotional exhaustion because they view their work and its consequences as being extremely important. Finally, as already noted, researchers suggest several qualitative and quantitat ive dimensions pertinent to interpersonal interactions, each representing differ ent types of demands, which are critical variables affecting the levels of emoti onal exhaustion (Jackson et al., 1986; Maslach, 1982). Frequent face-to-face int eractions that are intense or emotionally charged will likely be more demanding and can be expected to be associated with higher levels of emotional exhaustion (e.g., this might occur with line managers) (Maslach, 1982). Individuals who hav e little direct contact with clients, who deal primarily with "paper people" (e. g., personnel staff), or who deal with more "neutral" client issues should exper ience less emotional exhaustion (Maslach, 1978). Between these extremes, individ uals who handle a large volume of clients on a daily basis but address "neutral" problems may experience a moderate amount of emotional exhaustion. Some individ uals' client contact may even be quite ego enhancing, rewarding, and pleasant (L eiter & Maslach, 1988). The nature of the demands of client contacts is likely t o be a key factor in the burnout of managers and professionals. Figure 2 is a matrix designed to stimulate ideas about the generalizability of e motional exhaustion from client relationships to a wide variety of jobs. (Figure 2 omitted) The four cells are based on two key aspects of client relationships: (a) the frequency of interpersonal interactions with clients and (b) the intens ity of interactions with clients. (Although four aspects of interpersonal intera ction have been discussed--directness, frequency, intensity, and duration--only two are used here for ease of illustration.) Jobs that we speculate are low or h igh in frequency and intensity are provided as examples in the four cells. Indiv iduals employed in jobs that tend to have high levels of both aspects (e.g., nur se, social worker) would be expected to experience the highest levels of emotion al exhaustion from interpersonal relations. Not surprisingly. jobs with both hig h intensity and high frequency have dominated the burnout literature to date. Co

nversely. individuals employed in jobs that tend to have low levels of both aspe cts (e.g., research physicist) would be expected to experience the lowest levels of emotional exhaustion. Individuals with mixed levels of both aspects, that is . jobs with high frequency and low intensity (e.g., receptionist) and those with low frequency and high intensity (e.g., paramedic), would be expected to experi ence a moderate level of emotional exhaustion. This conceptualization suggests t hat many jobs outside the traditional helping professions are likely to lead to moderate and. in some cases, even high levels of emotional exhaustion (e.g., cus tomer service representatives). Of course, service provider-recipient relationships are not the only ones charac terized by demands associated with interpersonal strain. Supervisor-subordinate and co-worker contacts include interpersonal interactions that also may contribu te to emotional exhaustion (Leiter & Maslach, 1988). Boundary-spanning positions also can include significant interpersonal interactions (Parkington & Schneider , 1979). The boundary spanner, who functions as an information processor or a fi lter between the organization and the client, represents the organization and ac ts as its agent in influencing the decision making of the client. Boundary spann ers are caught in a difficult position when they perceive that client demands ca nnot or will not be met by the organization. In summary, emotional exhaustion is the first stage of burnout. It is primarily a response to demand stressors placed upon employees, especially work overload, interpersonal interactions, role conflict, and high levels of both personal and organizational expectations. Proposition 1a: High levels of work demands are the primary determinants of emot ional exhaustion. These demands include work overload, role conflict, and direct , intense, frequent, or lengthy interpersonal contacts. Corollary 1a: Individuals in supervisory positions and in boundary-spanning posi tions will experience higher levels of emotional exhaustion compared to those in nonsupervisory or in non-boundary-spanning positions. Proposition 1b: High levels of personal demands are also critical determinants o f emotional exhaustion. Younger employees and those with high expectations for j ob performance, high expectations for the organization, high job involvement, an d work as a central life interest are more likely to experience emotional exhaus tion. Depersonalization (cynical, dehumanizing, and negative attitudes toward one's cl ients) is a stress response that is unique to burnout, and it has not been exami ned in the job stress literature (Jackson et al., 1986). It is most appropriatel y conceptualized as a (defensive) coping response to emotional exhaustion--an ex pedient alternative for dealing with emotional exhaustion when other coping reso urces are not available (Ashforth & Lee, 1990: Lee & Ashforth, 1990; Leiter, 199 0; Maslach, 1982). Employees' professional socialization may be at least partly responsible for the use of depersonalization in response to high work demands and the resulting emo tional exhaustion (Leiter, 1990; Lemkau et al., 1987; Maslach. 1982). As a resul t of both school and on-the-job training, withdrawing from the job demands by de personalizing may be viewed not only as an acceptable response, but a profession al one as well. Leiter (1990), for example, pointed out that human service profe ssionals generally follow a code of ethics that explicitly calls for depersonali zation of clients. Similarly, depersonalization might be expected to result from helping professionals following the "rules of the game" such as expectations fo r maintaining a highly professional demeanor (Maslach, 1982). If professional so cialization is an important aspect of depersonalization, then a question may be raised about the relevance of depersonalization in the burnout of employees othe

r than helping professionals (Garden, 1987). That is, the depersonalization comp onent of burnout may not occur to the same extent for employees in occupations t hat do not have strong norms for maintaining a professional, impersonal, or even stoic demeanor in the face of interpersonal stress. Additionally, gender may be a factor in the occurrence of depersonalization, and men are more likely to cope with emotional exhaustion by depersonalizing. Masla ch and Jackson (1985) noted that, because of sex-role socialization, women empha size caring, nurturing, and showing concern for others, and they would be less l ikely than men to exhibit callous, impersonal behaviors. Several studies have fo und this to be true (Gold, 1985; Maslach & Jackson, 1981, 1985; Schwab & Iwanick i, 1982b). A related but distinct factor in depersonalization is an employee's experience o f working in a depersonalizing work environment, one that is characterized by ri gid and controlling administrative practices, a lack of participation (Jackson e t al., 1986: Savicki & Cooley, 1983), or receipt of noncontingent punishment (Ja ckson et al., 1986). Lack of participation gives employees a feeling of lack of "control" over critical aspects or demands of their work. Control is important f or the perception of stress (McGrath, 1976). Jackson and her colleagues (1986), for example, hypothesized and found that lack of participation in decision makin g was linked to depersonalization. Further, when an individual perceives environ mental conditions as being random or uncontrollable, as after receipt of noncont ingent punishment, a feeling of helplessness or uncertainty ensues (Cherniss, 19 80b). In order to cope with the situation. individuals will mechanize, or depers onalize, their relationships with co-workers, clients, or the organization. Thus , impersonal, dehumanizing organizational cultures can lead to employees' use of impersonal, dehumanizing styles with their clients. Proposition 2a: A high level of emotional exhaustion from one's work is the prim ary determinant of depersonalization. This is especially true for men and for in dividuals who have been socialized to act in a highly professional and impersona l fashion. That is, when a person experiences emotional exhaustion, depersonaliz ing clients is an expedient coping mechanism. Proposition 2b: When experiencing emotional exhaustion, employees are more likel y to depersonalize clients when they operate in an impersonal, bureaucratic, or rigid and controlling work environment, which includes factors such as (a) a lac k of participation in decision making and (b) the receipt of noncontingent punis hment. Diminished personal accomplishment results in part from high levels of depersona lization. When individuals develop negative, cynical attitudes and withdraw phys ically or psychologically from the situation, they find that they are no longer willing, or perceive that they are no longer able, to perform their jobs effecti vely. Feelings of diminished personal accomplishment also result from factors th at suggest that one is unappreciated, that one's efforts are ineffective (Jackso n et al., 1987), or that one's competence or performance is low (Burke et al., 1 984b). The perception of self-efficacy, defined as "people's judgments of their capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain design ated types of performances" (Bandura, 1986: 391), is at the core of the personal accomplishment component (Lee & Ashforth, 1990). Self-referent misgivings are c entral to the stress experience (Bandura, 1986). Therefore, variables that cause one to doubt one's competence, abilities, and so forth, should lead to feelings of diminished personal accomplishment. The causes and consequences of diminished personal accomplishment have not been as well understood as those associated with emotional exhaustion (Maslach & Jack son, 1984). However, because individual assessments of task attributes (Gist & M itchell, 1992) and attributions of performance successes and failures (Bandura,

1986) influence self-efficacy, we would expect variables that tend to make one f eel lacking in control, helpless, inadequate, or incompetent will contribute to feelings of diminished personal accomplishment. For example, qualitative work ov erload--the perception that one lacks the skills or abilities to adequately perf orm the job (Kahn, 1978)--should be an important determinant of feelings of pers onal accomplishment. When successful service is defined as curing an illness or helping a person in distress (Maslach, 1982), and clients return only if the pro blems continue or secure, seeing the same clients return again and again can lea ve the employee feeling that he or she does not possess the capabilities to perf orm effectively. This attribution of personal failure has been found to lead to lowered self-efficacy (Gist & Mitchell, 1992: Maslach, 1978, 1982). Role ambiguity also affects self-efficacy and one's feelings of personal accompl ishment. It is difficult to develop strong feelings of efficacy when one feels u nsure of what is expected of one's performance (Cherniss, 1980b) or when there i s ambiguity concerning performance feedback (Bandura, 1986). An individual's sen se of personal accomplishment may be undermined by ambiguity-induced suboptimal performance (whether real or imagined). This ambiguity makes it difficult for em ployees to perform (or perceive they are performing) at an optimal level. Severa l studies among teachers (Jackson et al., 1986; Schwab & Iwanicki. 1982a) and hu man service professionals (Brookings et al., 1985) support the relationship betw een role ambiguity and feelings of diminished personal accomplishment. Another factor that can lower self-efficacy is the lack of performance-contingen t rewards (Jackson et al., 1986; Maslach, 1982) because feedback information inf luences self-efficacy: employees infer meaning from information cues in the work environment (Gist & Mitchell, 1992). Because receipt of rewards is often the on ly way in which employees can gauge their performance and what others think of t heir work (Schwab, Jackson, & Schuler, 1986), and employees expect organizations to recognize and reward good performance, a lack of contingent rewards can caus e employees to feel that their performance does not warrant rewards or that thei r efforts simply are not noticed or appreciated. Unmet organization and achievement expectations are also likely to contribute to a sense of diminished personal accomplishment. Whereas level of expectations se rves as an internal demand as discussed previously, unmet expectations, regardle ss of the initial level of expectations, suggests a failure to perform. When tha t failure is attributed to personal inadequacies, feelings of personal accomplis hment will be diminished. Employees enter the workplace with certain expectation s regarding both what they will be able to accomplish professionally and what th e organization will offer to reward and facilitate their work. Over time, these expectations are contrasted with daily realities. The magnitude of these unmet e xpectations, that is, the size of the discrepancy between initial expectations a nd the current situation, influences the perception of personal accomplishment t hrough the individual's attributions regarding the cause for these discrepancies . If the discrepancy is small, then the effect on perceived personal accomplishm ent should be small. In contrast, when these expectations vary substantially fro m the realities of the workplace, the employee is likely to perceive his or her performance as inadequate or ineffective (Stevens & O'Neill, 1983). The focus in both the conceptual and empirical literature has been on the extent to which individuals' achievement expectations are unmet. Burnout has been most often studied in the helping professions, where the difference between experien ce and expectations about client interactions has been a central focus. Organiza tional expectations may also contribute to feelings of diminished personal accom plishment, especially in industrial and corporate settings. In summary, diminished personal accomplishment results primarily from depersonal ization and factors that suggest one is ineffective, incompetent, or unappreciat ed. Especially relevant factors include qualitative work overload, role ambiguit

y, lack of performance-contingent rewards, and unmet organization and achievemen t expectations. Proposition 3a: High levels of depersonalization will cause individuals to alter their attitudes and interactions with clients, co-workers, or the organization in such a way as to interfere with or inhibit the perception of effective perfor mance. resulting in feelings of diminished personal accomplishment. Proposition 3b: High levels of factors that suggest one's efforts are inadequate , ineffective, or unappreciated are the primary determinants of feelings of dimi nished personal accomplishment. These factors include qualitative work overload, role ambiguity, lack of performance-contingent rewards, and unmet organization and achievement expectations. Finally, availability of coping resources moderates the burnout process at three different points. First, it moderates the relationship between the demand stres sors and emotional exhaustion. Second, it moderates the relationship between emo tional exhaustion and depersonalization. Finally, it moderates the relationship between depersonalization and feelings of personal accomplishment. Two common ty pes of coping resources are organizational social support and personal social su pport. Social support, in general, leads the individual to perceive that others can and will provide the resources necessary for them to deal successfully with the int eraction. In the organization, for example, credible senior employees or peers m ay convince one with reassuring words that one is capable of successful performa nce (Eden & Kinnar, 1991). Also, social support may cause the individual to rede fine the potential for harm posed by the situation, or it may bolster the indivi dual's perceived ability to cope with the demands imposed by the situation. Seve ral researchers have reported the effects of informal support (Leiter, 1988), pr ofessional support(Leiter, 1988), co-worker support (Jackson et al., 1986: Leite r, 1991), and supervisor support (Jackson et al., 1986). A related conceptualiza tion of social support is skill utilization (Leiter, 1990) or job challenge (Fri esen et al., 1988). Leiter (1990. 1991) argued that skill utilization is a form of organization support because it provides opportunities for the implementation and development of skills and presents empirical evidence that skill utilizatio n is positively related to personal accomplishment. Personal resources also represent a source of support that enhances one's abilit y to cope with the demands of and reactions to the work environment. Individuals who are married, for example, report lower levels of burnout than their single counterparts (Gold, 1985: Maslach & Jackson, 1985; Russell et al., 1987). A poss ible explanation for this is that a spouse is perceived as a source of support, providing a buffer between the stressful work environment and adverse reactions to it (Leiter, 1990). Alternatively, a spouse may enforce a more balanced life p erspective by requiring the employee to spend time away from the work environmen t. Likewise, individuals who have children report lower levels of all three comp onents of burnout than do their childless peers (Maslach & Jackson, 1985). It is also possible that people with families are simply older and thus more mature a nd stable. Whether older or not, people with families may be more experienced in dealing with personal problems and emotional conflicts. It may be that the fami ly, in addition to being a source of role conflict, is also a source of emotiona l support and comfort (Cohen & Wills, 1985). The family helps the individual cop e with work by providing a much-needed balance of perspective. The family also m ay fill the individual's needs for affection and approval, which are not being f ulfilled professionally. Proposition 4a: The availability of coping resources is an especially relevant b uffer in the burnout process because it moderates (a) the relationship between t he demand stressors and emotional exhaustion, (b) the relationship between emoti

onal exhaustion and depersonalization, and (c) the relationship between deperson alization and feelings of personal accomplishment. Proposition 4b: More specifically, the availability of organizational social sup port and personal social support, in particular spouse and family, moderate the experiences of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and enhance feelings o f personal accomplishment. RESEARCH STRATEGIES Despite the extensive literature on burnout to date, strategies other than the e xisting ones may offer a significant benefit to this field. Thus far, studies ha ve used only a few types of methodologies. Of the studies referenced here, only the earliest investigations by Maslach and Pines used a case study design (Masla ch & Pines, 1977; Pines & Maslach, 1980), seven others used some type of structu ral equation modeling (Dignam et al., 1986; Lee & Ashforth, 1990, 1993; Leiter, 1988, 1990, 1991; Saxton et al., 1991), and only five used a longitudinal design (Cherniss, 1992: Fimian & Blanton, 1987; Firth & Britton, 1989: Jackson et al., 1986; Leiter, 1990). The remaining studies used cross-sectional correlational d esigns. The more prevalent cross-sectional correlational studies of burnout would benefi t from increased attention to research rigor, especially using statistical contr ol to rule out third-variable explanations of correlation or regression findings . For example, the nature of interpersonal interactions is a key factor in the e xperience of burnout, but (unmet) job expectations are also important. Multivari ate analyses could clarify these relationships, compared to studies examining in dividual zero-order correlations. Similarly, some of the mixed findings about ge nder effects and "specialty area" may be clarified if variables such as occupati on and nature of interpersonal interactions are controlled for in statistical an alyses. Multivariate designs are also necessary to adequately assess the role of the components in the burnout process. For example, emotional exhaustion and de personalization, in particular, are very highly correlated (Koeske & Koeske, 198 9: Lee & Ashforth, 1990: Wolpin et al., 1991), so it is difficult to determine t he unique contribution of noncontingent punishment without controlling for the e ffect of emotional exhaustion. Another improvement would be the measurement of precursors and consequences of b urnout at two or more points in time (e.g., Jackson et al., 1986). Such action c an at least diminish method variance problems (Podsakoff & Organ, 1986), if not provide convincing support for causal relationships. Similarly, causal modeling (e.g., Lee & Ashforth, 1993: Leiter, 1990, 1991) could provide a more informativ e examination of these processes, compared to the cross-sectional correlational designs that have dominated the burnout literature thus far. For example, Leiter (1991) used causal modeling to establish the causal link between types of copin g and support and each of the burnout components. Conversely, qualitative research also could be valuable in the study of burnout, especially in capturing richer descriptions of contextual factors and personal meanings surrounding burnout processes. In-depth interviews may be optimal for d iscovery of personal meaning, whereas observation might be more effective for un derstanding everyday actions, organizing structures, and contexts (Handy, 1988). In addition, experimental or quasi-experimental research, which is virtually non existent in the burnout literature to date, would enhance the internal validity of conclusions about burnout processes. A potentially fruitful strategy would be the experimental investigation of intervention strategies, such as training pro grams, for ameliorating burnout. It appears that organizations have, in fact, pr ovided burnout training programs to help employees to identify the symptoms of b

urnout, the factors most likely to contribute to it, and specific ways to cope w ith it. Evaluations of the effects of these training programs have not been publ ished. Naturally occurring experiments would also provide insights into the caus es and consequences associated with burnout. For example, if an organization is downsizing and the remaining employees now have larger workloads, burnout levels could be monitored to identify changes. More attention should be given to the process of burnout, including the sequenci ng of the three phases of burnout. The phase model (Golembiewski & Munzenrider, 1984) and Leiter's (1989) evolving process model are steps in this direction, al though more testing and refinement are needed (see, e.g., Lee & Ashforth, 1993). We have suggested that emotional exhaustion leads to depersonalization, which, in turn, contributes to diminished feelings of personal accomplishment. Low corr elations between these first two components and feelings of personal accomplishm ent, however, suggest the latter may be either independent of emotional exhausti on and depersonalization or related in some very complex way. Further, the temporal aspects of the antecedents and consequences of burnout, as well as the three components themselves, have received no attention in the lite rature. Investigators should examine when the individual components of burnout e merge, how quickly burnout progresses, and what factors affect the onset of burn out and the speed of progression. Pairs of measurements have been taken at a var iety of intervals, such as 6 months(Leiter, 1990), 12 months (Jackson et al., 19 86), 18 months (Fimian & Blanton, 1987), 2 years (Firth & Britton, 1989), and 12 years (Cherniss, 1992). Although these measurements represent a start, more tha n two measurement points will be necessary to establish patterns and processes o ver time. A related measurement issue pertains to the individual's career stage. Individua ls' susceptibility to burnout or coping success will be a reflection of their ca reer stages: therefore, career stage is expected to affect relationships between the antecedent variables and the burnout components. This issue has important i mplications for the timing of the measurement of antecedent and burnout variable s. Also, the standard set of background variables has not been fully or sufficie ntly investigated, especially as it moderates the relationships between the othe r independent and dependent variables. Finally, although the convergent and discriminant validity of the MBI has been i nvestigated (Iwanicki & Schwab, 1981; Maslach & Jackson, 1981, 1986: Wolpin et a l., 1991), the process has been limited to factor analyses and the investigation of patterns of correlations among variables. There has been no thorough, convin cing analysis of the discriminant and convergent validity using the Multitrait-M ultimethod framework (Campbell & Fiske, 1959). Because the MBI has emerged as th e primary means of measuring this phenomenon, it is only appropriate that its va lidity be rigorously and comprehensively investigated. CONCLUSIONS Based on the literature to date, we believe the burnout phenomenon deserves more attention by researchers studying stress processes in organizations. Burnout ap pears to be a unique type of stress syndrome, which includes perceptions of emot ional exhaustion, a dehumanization of clients in one's work, and perceptions of diminished personal accomplishment, and it has been clearly distinguished, both conceptually and empirically, from other forms of stress. Burnout can be measure d in a reliable and valid fashion. A developing literature on burnout has begun to clarify the position of burnout in a network of variables included in the stu dy of organizational behavior. This article has attempted to provide some necess ary structural and conceptual clarity to aid in future research efforts. Subject Studies;

Stress; Organizational behavior; Burnout Classification 9130: Experimental/theoretical treatment, 6500: Employee problems , 2500: Organizational behaviorTitle A review and an integration of research on job burnoutAuthor Cordes, Cynthia L; Dougherty, Thomas WPublication title Academ y of Management. The Academy of Management ReviewVolume 18Issue 4Pages 621Number of pages 36Publication year 1993Publication date Oct 1993Year 1993Publisher Aca demy of ManagementPlace of publication Briarcliff ManorCountry of publication Un ited StatesJournal subject Business And Economics--ManagementISSN 03637425Source type Scholarly JournalsLanguage of publication EnglishDocument type PERIODICALA ccession number 00775667ProQuest document ID 210952612Document URL http://search Copyright Academy of Man agement Oct 1993Last updated 2010-06-08Database ProQuest Central