The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Standing by employer by choice or obligation can lead to burnout, study suggests

  • Print

MONTREAL - Whether you feel a sense of obligation about your work or are staying on the job because you don't see an alternative, new research suggests the end result for employees could be the same: burnout.

According to Montreal researchers, the decision to stick with your company — whether by choice or because of slim pickings in the job market — can lead to emotional exhaustion, a chronic state of physical and mental depletion resulting from continuous stress and excessive job demands.

The study was conducted by Concordia University, Universite de Montreal and HEC Montreal. The findings were published in the journal Human Relations.

Concordia assistant professor and study co-author Alexandra Panaccio and her colleagues surveyed 260 workers from various industries, including information technology, health services, engineering and architecture. Among participants — aged 34 on average — 33 per cent held managerial positions, while 50 per cent worked in the public sector.

The study found that people who stay in their organizations because they feel an obligation towards their employer are more likely to experience burnout. A similar effect can also be seen among workers who stay the course because they don't see alternatives for employment outside their current organizations.

Researchers also observed that individuals with high self-esteem are most affected by a perceived lack of employment alternatives — possibly because that perception is inconsistent with their self-view as important and competent people.

Researchers also measured various types of organizational commitments, like whether employees identified with a company’s goals and values and whether they felt an obligation to stay.

"It may be that, in the absence of an emotional bond with the organization, commitment based on obligation is experienced as a kind of indebtedness — a loss of autonomy that is emotionally draining over time,” said Panaccio in a release.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Your top TV picks for this week - December 8-12

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A  young goose stuffed with bread from  St Vital park passers-by takes a nap in the shade Thursday near lunch  –see Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge Day 29-June 28, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A one day old piglet glances up from his morning feeding at Cedar Lane Farm near Altona.    Standup photo Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Now that former cabinet minister Theresa Oswald has entered the NDP leadership race, do you believe the "gang of five" rebel ministers were right to publicly criticize Premier Greg Selinger's leadership?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google