Original Research

Sense of coherence and job characteristics in predicting burnout in a South African sample

Claire S. Johnston, Gideon P. de Bruin, Madelyn Geldenhuys, Christina Györkös, Koorosh Massoudi, Jérôme Rossier
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 39, No 1 | a1096 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v39i1.1096 | © 2013 Claire S. Johnston, Gideon P. de Bruin, Madelyn Geldenhuys, Christina Györkös, Koorosh Massoudi, Jérôme Rossier | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 February 2013 | Published: 09 October 2013

About the author(s)

Claire S. Johnston, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa; NCCR LIVES, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Gideon P. de Bruin, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Madelyn Geldenhuys, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Christina Györkös, Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Koorosh Massoudi, Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Jérôme Rossier, Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Orientation: Research that considers the effects of individual characteristics and job characteristics jointly in burnout is necessary, especially when one considers the possibility of curvilinear relationships between job characteristics and burnout.

Research purpose: This study examines the contribution of sense of coherence (SOC) and job characteristics to predicting burnout by considering direct and moderating effects.

Motivation for this study: Understanding the relationships of individual and job characteristics with burnout is necessary for preventing burnout. It also informs the design of interventions.

Research design, approach and method: The participants were 632 working adults (57% female) in South Africa. The measures included the Job Content Questionnaire, the Sense of Coherence Questionnaire and the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The authors analysed the data using hierarchical multiple regression with the enter method.

Main findings: Job characteristics and SOC show the expected direct effects on burnout. SOC has a direct negative effect on burnout. Job demands and supervisor social support show nonlinear relationships with burnout. SOC moderates the effect of demands on burnout and has a protective function so that the demands-burnout relationship differs for those with high and low SOC.

Practical/managerial implications: The types of effects, the shape of the stressor-strain relationship and the different contributions of individual and job characteristics have implications for designing interventions.

Contribution/value add: SOC functions differently when combined with demands, control and support. These different effects suggest that it is not merely the presence or absence of a job characteristic that is important for well-being outcomes but how people respond to its presence or absence.


Keywords

Moderation; Sense of coherence; Burnout; Work stress; South Africa

Metrics

Total abstract views: 3463
Total article views: 7246


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.