Original Research

Burnout and turnover intention among electronics manufacturing employees in South Africa

George H. Marshall, Sonya M. Stephenson
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 46 | a1758 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v46i0.1758 | © 2020 George H. Marshall, Sonya M. Stephenson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 October 2019 | Published: 21 July 2020

About the author(s)

George H. Marshall, Graduate Centre for Management, Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Sonya M. Stephenson, Graduate Centre for Management, Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Although previous research found evidence that burnout is associated with turnover intention, few studies explore this phenomenon among electronics manufacturing employees in South Africa.

Research purpose: To investigate the relationship between burnout and turnover intention among electronics manufacturing employees.

Motivation for the study: The study explored the relationship between burnout and turnover intention in order to propose interventions that can reduce burnout and turnover intention in electronics manufacturing companies.

Research approach/design and method: The study employed a cross-sectional quantitative research methodology: a self-administered structured questionnaire, principal component analysis and the Spearman’s correlation coefficient. A convenience sample of 133 employees from a selected electronics manufacturing company in South Africa participated in the survey.

Main findings: The development of burnout among electronics manufacturing employees is conceptualised by two dimensions: exhaustion/cynicism and professional efficacy. However, exhaustion/cynicism is the only dimension associated with turnover intention. Exhaustion/cynicism is significantly positively related to job cognitions, job search activities, likelihood of leaving the job and turnover intention. Employees’ job functions and satisfaction with stakeholder relationships influence burnout and ultimately turnover intention. Factory workers experienced significantly higher levels of exhaustion/cynicism compared to those performing other functions. Exhaustion/cynicism is significantly negatively associated with supervisor relationships whereas professional efficacy is significantly positively associated.

Practical/managerial implications: The study identified opportunities for electronics manufacturing companies to reduce burnout by developing interventions.

Contribution/value-add: The study makes a number of recommendations to reduce burnout and ultimately increase retention of electronics manufacturing employees.


Keywords

Burnout; turnover intention; relationship between burnout and turnover intention; electronics manufacturing; factory workers.

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