In this 257-participant study (76% female; mean age: 44.84), we examined two ideas that are widespread among burnout researchers: (a) the idea that burnout is primarily related to occupational-level factors; and (b) the idea that burnout should be considered a sentinel indicator in research on negative occupational outcomes. We investigated the links between burnout and a series of generic and work-related variables, namely, depressive symptoms, neuroticism, extraversion, effort-reward imbalance in the job (ERI), social support at work (SSW), and turnover intention. Burnout was assessed with the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure, depressive symptoms with the PHQ-9, neuroticism and extraversion with the NEO-Five Factor Inventory, ERI with the 10-item version of the Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire, SSW with the Job Content Questionnaire, and turnover intention with a dedicated 3-item measure. Correlation, multiple regression, and relative weight analyses were conducted. Burnout was not found to be more strongly linked to organizational and work-contextualized variables than to personality traits. In addition, turnover intention was not associated to a greater extent with burnout than with ERI. Burnout and depressive symptoms were highly correlated and exhibited overlapping nomological networks. Overall, our findings question the way burnout has been generally conceived.
Bianchi, R., Mayor, E., Schonfeld, I.S., & Laurent, E. (2018). Burnout and depressive symptoms are not primarily linked to perceived organizational problems. Journal of Psychology, Health & Medicine. doi:10.1080/13548506.2018.1476725