Burnout: 35 years of research and practice

Burnout: 35 years of research and practice Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to focus on the career of the burnout concept itself, rather than reviewing research findings on burnout. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents an overview of the concept of burnout. Findings – The roots of the burnout concept seem to be embedded within broad social, economic, and cultural developments that took place in the last quarter of the past century and signify the rapid and profound transformation from an industrial society into a service economy. This social transformation goes along with psychological pressures that may translate into burnout. After the turn of the century, burnout is increasingly considered as an erosion of a positive psychological state. Although burnout seems to be a global phenomenon, the meaning of the concept differs between countries. For instance, in some countries burnout is used as a medical diagnosis, whereas in other countries it is a non‐medical, socially accepted label that carries a minimum stigma in terms of a psychiatric diagnosis. Originality/value – The paper documents that the exact meaning of the concept of burnout varies with its context and the intentions of those using the term. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Career Development International Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1362-0436
DOI
10.1108/13620430910966406
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to focus on the career of the burnout concept itself, rather than reviewing research findings on burnout. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents an overview of the concept of burnout. Findings – The roots of the burnout concept seem to be embedded within broad social, economic, and cultural developments that took place in the last quarter of the past century and signify the rapid and profound transformation from an industrial society into a service economy. This social transformation goes along with psychological pressures that may translate into burnout. After the turn of the century, burnout is increasingly considered as an erosion of a positive psychological state. Although burnout seems to be a global phenomenon, the meaning of the concept differs between countries. For instance, in some countries burnout is used as a medical diagnosis, whereas in other countries it is a non‐medical, socially accepted label that carries a minimum stigma in terms of a psychiatric diagnosis. Originality/value – The paper documents that the exact meaning of the concept of burnout varies with its context and the intentions of those using the term.

Journal

Career Development InternationalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 19, 2009

Keywords: Stress; Social change; Medical diagnosis

References

  • The job demands resources model: state‐of‐the‐art
    Bakker, A.B.; Demerouti, E.
  • Towards a model of work engagement
    Bakker, A.B.; Demerouti, E.
  • Positive organizational behavior: engaged employees in flourishing organizations
    Bakker, A.B.; Schaufeli, W.B.

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