Original Research

Work engagement, burnout and related constructs as predictors of turnover intentions

Janine du Plooy, Gert Roodt
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 36, No 1 | a910 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v36i1.910 | © 2010 Janine du Plooy, Gert Roodt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 July 2010 | Published: 08 December 2010

About the author(s)

Janine du Plooy, University of Johannesburg
Gert Roodt, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Orientation: The focus of the study was to investigate the predictive relationship between the work engagement-burnout continuum and turnover intentions.

Research purpose: The main purpose of the study was to determine whether work engagement, burnout, organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB) and work alienation are predictors of turnover intentions.

Motivation for the study: Organisations operating within the 21st century face significant challenges in the management of talent and human capital. One in particular is voluntary employee turnover and the lack of appropriate business models to track this process.

Research design, approach and method: A secondary data analysis (SDA) was performed in a quantitative research tradition on the cross-sectional survey data collected from a large South African Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector company (n = 2429).

Main findings: The results of the study confirmed the predictive model (work engagement, burnout, OCB and work alienation) of turnover intention. Specifically, work engagement and OCBs were significantly negatively related to turnover intention; whilst burnout and work alienation were significantly positively related to turnover intention. Several third-variable relationships, such as biographic and demographic variables, indicated statistical significance.

Practical/managerial implications: Practical implications of the study could impact on human resource (HR) value-chain activities in the form of evidence-based and improved recruitment and selection procedures, employee retention strategies and training and development interventions. Issues concerning talent management could also be addressed.

Contribution/value-add: The study described in this article took Industrial/Organisational (I/O) psychological concepts and linked them in unique combinations to establish better predictive validity of a new turnover intentions model.


work engagement; burnout; organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB); alienation; turnover intention; survey research


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