This study investigates the role of coworker and supervisor support on three aspects of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, perceived lack of personal accomplishment) and job satisfaction. The authors argue that different sources of social support at work can influence these three aspects of burnout differently.
Questionnaires were delivered to supervisors of each campus department at two state universities in South Texas asking them to encourage their employees to complete the survey. The sample consisted of 174 personnel.
The results show that coworker support was negatively associated with emotional exhaustion and depersonalization but not with perceived lack of personal accomplishment while supervisor support was negatively associated with all aspects of burnout. The analysis also confirmed the direct and indirect effects of coworker and supervisor support on job satisfaction.
Due to the detrimental consequences of burnout to employee satisfaction, organizations need to make sure that employees receive sufficient support from their coworkers and supervisors to avoid this burnout problem.
Even though the role of social support on job burnout has been previously investigated, existing studies tended to combine three dimensions of burnout into a single measure. Using an aggregated measure of burnout as an outcome variable can limit our understanding about the role that social support plays on each individual dimension of burnout. By employing burnout as a multidimensional construct, the present study can determine whether coworker support and supervisor support can have a different impact on each of the three dimensions of burnout.