Burnout and work engagement of South African packaging manufacturing managers
Ratshivhombela, Queen-Ann Sibongile
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Stress and burnout among workers are reaching epidemic proportions, resulting in loss of millions in revenue due to absenteeism and corresponding reduction in productivity. The question as to whether the participants of this study experience low levels of work wellness (i.e., low burnout and high work engagement) or not, is not easy to answer. Therefore, research is needed regarding the understanding of how burnout manifests itself, as well as underlying factors contributing to the work engagement of managers and their relationship with job demands and resources thereof. The objective of this study was to investigate which job demands and job resources will predict burnout and work engagement of managers in the packaging manufacturing sector and how different job characteristics will affect their levels of engagement. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The study population (N = 90) consisted of managerial staff from various divisions of a national packaging manufacturing company in South Africa. The Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey, the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, the Job-Demands-Resources Questionnaire and a biographical questionnaire were administered. The reliability of the measuring instruments was assessed with the use of Cronbach alpha coefficients. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. Pearson correlations and multiple regression analyses were used to assess the relationships between burnout, job demands, job resources and work engagement. The results showed that exhaustion was positively related to job demands (work overload). Both exhaustion and cynicism were negatively related to a lack of job resources such as organisational support and growth opportunities. Managers with low opportunities to learn, little work independence, poor relationship with colleagues, poor relationship with immediate supervisor, limited access to information, poor communication, insufficient participation, lack of contact possibilities, poor remuneration and limited career possibilities were found to experience high burnout and less work engagement, presumably because stimuli from the environment did not promote growth, self-development, personal accomplishment and meaning for the manager. The results showed that both job demands and job resources contributed to burnout and work engagement. Recommendations for future research have been made.
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