chapter  7
23 Pages

Multilevel models of burnout: separating group level and individual level effects in burnout research


For nearly two decades, there has been a growing trend toward a multilevel perspective of individual behavior in organizations (Klein et al., 1994; Kozlowski & Klein, 2000). More recently, there has been an increasing emphasis on multilevel explanations within the stress literature, both from psychological and public health researchers (Bliese & Jex, 2002). Burnout research has followed a similar pattern to many organizational behavior constructs. Throughout the years, burnout has fairly consistently been defined as an individual phenomenon (Halbesleben & Buckley, 2004; Maslach et al., 2001). However, throughout that same time, there have been suggestions that burnout has a collective or shared element to it (Edelwich & Brodsky, 1980; Gonzalez-Morales et al., 2012). For example, Gonzalez-Morales et al. (2012) defined collective burnout in terms of the shared experience of burnout among coworkers in the same work environment. They argued that the contextual antecedents and experiences of burnout (e.g., Bakker & Schaufeli, 2000; Bakker et al., 2009) suggest that burnout can be conceptualized as an individual phenomenon or a socially constructed experience.