Burnout and work engagement of academics in higher education institutions: effects of dispositional optimism
Barkhuizen, Emmerentia Nicolene
Van De Vijver, Alphonsius Josephus Rachel
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The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships among dispositional optimism, job demands and resources, burnout, work engagement, ill health and organizational commitment of South African academic staff in higher education institutions. A cross-sectional survey design was used, with stratified random samples (N = 595) taken of academics in South African higher education institutions. The results confirmed that job demands and a lack of job resources contributed to burnout, whereas job resources contributed to work engagement. Dispositional optimism had a strong direct effect on perceptions of job resources as well as strong indirect effects (via job resources) on burnout, work engagement, ill health and organizational commitment. The results of this study extend the dual-process model of burnout and engagement by demonstrating the strong effects of dispositional optimism on the constructs in the model. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.