Burnout, job stress and sense of coherence in the coal mining industry
Since the buyout of Duiker coal-mines by Xstrata PLC, considerable organisational change took place: people were made redundant, restructuring took place, much flatter structure (which also meant a much leaner workforce) and a new culture was introduced. The coalmining environment is also one of the harshest environments in which to work. Various factors in this industry may lead to stress and eventually burnout, which is detrimental to the wellbeing of employees. Burnout is a syndrome consisting of three dimensions. They are: Cynicism, which reflects a negative, a cynical and callous attitude towards recipients, and/or extreme, detached responses to aspects pertaining to the job and Lack of Professional Efficacy, which is the tendency to evaluate aspects negatively with regard to personal accomplishments and competence at work. Exhaustion refers to the depletion and draining of emotional resources, feelings of being overextended as well as cynicism. Burnout in various industries is a particular and growing phenomenon and the mining industry is no different. The objective of this research was to establish the relationship between psychological burnout and job stress and to determine whether Sense of Coherence moderates the effects of job stress on burnout of employees. The sample consisted of 163 employees of the Xstrata Coal SA Mine group. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The Job Stress Indicator, Maslach Burnout Inventory, and Orientation to Life Questionnaire were administered. Canonical correlation analysis showed that a weak sense of coherence combined with stress because of job demands and a lack of resources were associated with all three components of burnout. Structural equation modelling showed that Sense of Coherence moderates the effect of job stress on exhaustion. Recommendations for future research were made.
- ETD@PUK