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Burnout: 35 years of research and practice

journal contribution
posted on 2009-01-01, 00:00 authored by W B Schaufeli, Michael Leiter, C Maslach
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to focus on the career of the burnout concept itself, rather than reviewing research findings on burnout. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents an overview of the concept of burnout. Findings – The roots of the burnout concept seem to be embedded within broad social, economic, and cultural developments that took place in the last quarter of the past century and signify the rapid and profound transformation from an industrial society into a service economy. This social transformation goes along with psychological pressures that may translate into burnout. After the turn of the century, burnout is increasingly considered as an erosion of a positive psychological state. Although burnout seems to be a global phenomenon, the meaning of the concept differs between countries. For instance, in some countries burnout is used as a medical diagnosis, whereas in other countries it is a non-medical, socially accepted label that carries a minimum stigma in terms of a psychiatric diagnosis. Originality/value – The paper documents that the exact meaning of the concept of burnout varies with its context and the intentions of those using the term.

History

Journal

Career development international

Volume

14

Issue

3

Pagination

204 - 220

Publisher

Emerald Group Publishing

Location

Bingley, Eng.

ISSN

1362-0436

eISSN

1758-6003

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2009, Emerald Group Publishing

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