Patterns of burnout among managers and professionals: A comparison of models

Cynthia L. Cordes, Thomas W. Dougherty, Michael Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Using structural equation modeling, this paper compares the intertemporal sequences of the burnout components proposed by Maslach (1982) and Golembiewski (1989) using responses from 354 human resource professionals. The relationship between the burnout components and several critical variables that are theoretically linked to the phenomenon are also investigated. Studying human resource professionals allows us to examine the generalizability of burnout. This group of employees provides a range of services to a largely internal client group, and thus experience strain from interpersonal interactions. Results support Maslach's three-factor sequential model of burnout, although its superiority over the Golembiewski sequential model is not definitive. A post hoc analysis reveals a significant path between emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment, and an insignificant path between depersonalization and personal accomplishment. Investigation of the relationship between the burnout components and several critical, theoretically linked variables indicates significant paths between (a) role overload and emotional exhaustion, (b) noncontingent punishment and depersonalization, and (c) contingent rewards and personal accomplishment. The work documents the generalizability of burnout to managers and professionals in corporate settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-701
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns of burnout among managers and professionals: A comparison of models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this