Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining the Stage Progression of Employee Burnout
by Brenner, Joshua, Ph.D., Hofstra University, 2020, 124; 28148693
Abstract (Summary)

Research into the psychological construct burnout has been popular over the past four decades. While researchers have found supporting evidence for the causes, as well as the outcomes, of burnout, there is still debate on how burnout progresses in the employee population. Specifically, multiple competing theoretical models exist in how stress and the latent components of burnout relate to each other: 1) the Maslach model, 2) the Cherniss model, 3) the Lee and Ashforth model, and 4) the Golembiewski Phase model of burnout. Based on the theory of conservation of resources, stress should threaten the amount resources employees normally have in reaction they will experience psychological strain such as emotional exhaustion. Employees will try to regain resources by utilizing coping mechanisms such as depersonalization techniques. However, these techniques in of themselves utilize resources and over time become ineffective. Employees in turn may begin to doubt their own abilities to cope and perform their jobs which leads to reduced personal accomplishment. In line with this chain of events as theorized by conservation of resources, I hypothesized that the Maslach model of burnout is the better model of explaining burnout stage progression relative to the other three models. In previous studies, researchers tend to only utilize classical test theory approaches such as structural equation modelling techniques to examine the stage progression of burnout. However, classical test theory has some methodological limitations when examining stage based statistical models relative to item response theory approaches. In addition, very few researchers have utilized non-parametric item response theory approaches to examine the stage progression of employee burnout. I hypothesized that the item response theory statistical approaches, especially the non-parametric versions of item response theory, will give stronger support for the Maslach model of burnout relative to the classical test theory approaches. An mTurk sample of 1,430 respondents completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Results supported the notion that Item Response Theory statistical methods is a better method at examining stages of burnout model fit relative to Classical Test Theory statistical methods. However, the results supported the notion that personal accomplishment is a separate construct from burnout which goes again the Maslach model of burnout. Furthermore, non-parametric Item Response Theory found stronger model fit for stages of burnout relative to parametric Item Response Theory statistical methods. Overall, the results supported the idea that emotional exhaustion and depersonalization survey items could be ordered in a stage-like fashion supporting the idea that employees experience burnout in stages.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gorman, Bernard
Commitee: Liu, Cong, Grossman, Rebecca, Shahani-Denning, Comila, Jankovic, Roza
School: Hofstra University
Department: Applied Organizational Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Psychology, Statistics, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Employee burnout, Classical test theory, IITA, Item response theory, Mokken, SIA
Publication Number: 28148693
ISBN: 9798672198323
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