Professional recognition as protective factor against burnout

  • A. Casini
  • C. Hubert
  • R. Kaelen


Background: The theoretical framework of equity has been widely used to study the antecedents of burnout. Hence, it has been shown that lack of organizational justice, and effort/reward imbalance are predictors of burnout. Within this perspective, this contribution focuses specifically on the notion of professional recognition (PR). We define PR as the acknowledgement coming from others (colleagues, superiors, and organizations) of the skills and the moral qualities that one perceives to have with regard to the sphere of work. We hypothesise that PR is a protective factor against burnout. Methods: 328 workers (241 women, mean age = 36, sd = 11.60) filled out an online questionnaire comprising, inter alia, the Professional Recognition Scale (Fall, 2015; α = .867) and the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI, Demerouti et al, 2001; α = .848). To test our hypothesis, we conducted linear regressions using separately the OLBI and its 2 sub-dimensions (i.e. emotional exhaustion and disengagement) as outcome variables and the PR score and its 3 sub-scales (i.e. PR coming from colleagues, the superiors, and the organization) as predictors. We performed automatic linear modelling procedures for evaluating the respective strength of the 3 sources of PR in predicting the outcomes. Findings: Results show that PR is a protective factor of burnout (β = -.521, p < .000; R² = .271) and that PR coming from the organisation is the strongest source protecting against emotional exhaustion and disengagement. Discussion: Results suggest that deploying both PR policies and practices participate in preventing workers from developing burnout.
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