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Title: Is engagement possible after burnout? Testing the role of posttraumatic growth and personal resources in the recovery process from burnout.
Authors: Vonk, Greet
Keywords: burnout
posttraumatic growth
personal resources
Job Demands-Resources model
JD-R model
Issue Date: 18-Dec-2013
Publisher: Open Universiteit Nederland
Abstract: Burnout is often seen as the opposite of engagement and organizations have a large interest in engaged workers. This study aimed to investigate if fully recovered burnout workers differ in their engagement and current burnout levels from ‘normal’ (i.e. no burnout history) referent workers. Furthermore, the analysis focused on whether the level of engagement and the current burnout level of workers with a burnout history can be explained by the influence of posttraumatic growth (PTG) on personal resources. In total 166 workers who fully recovered from a burnout and 199 referents were included in a cross sectional survey design. The results showed that the current burnout levels of fully recovered burnout patients are (significant) higher than referents. Furthermore it appeared fully recovered burnout patients did not differ significantly in their engagement levels from normal (i.e. no burnout history) referent workers. The results of this study revealed that, people who recovered from burnout do experience PTG and its effects on engagement and current burnout symptoms is partially mediated by personal resources. This study is the first that found a connection between the PTG research field and research concerning the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model and shows that after having had a burnout, the recovery process can help to enhance personal resources and engagement, and also to diminish residual burnout symptoms. Implications for further research and organizational practice are discussed.
Appears in Collections:MSc Management Science

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