Topic: Health and Safety, Motivation, Human Resources
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (JAN 2011)
Article: Safety at Work: A Meta-analytic Investigation of the Link Between Job Demands, Job Resources, Burnout, Engagement, and Safety Outcomes
Authors: Jennifer D. Nahrgang, Frederick P. Morgeson, David A. Hofmann
Reviewed by: Mary Alice Crowe-Taylor
These days, the workplace is generally quite demanding! This study used a meta-analysis approach, with 203 independent samples, to assess how detrimental job demands are, and how helpful job resources are, in terms of burnout, engagement and safety outcomes. These researchers wanted to know how well the job demand-resources theory (JD-R) by Bakker & Demerouti (2007) explains these relationships.
According to this analysis, pretty well actually! The model that best fit the data supported the JD-R’s theoretical links between job demands-health impairment-burnout-negative safety outcomes. Burnout was harmful to safe work practices! It also supported the theory’s links between job resources-motivation-engagement-positive safety outcomes. Engaged employees are motivated to work safely.
Job demands included variables like job complexity, role overload, cognitively challenging work, physical demands, and risks and hazards. Draining to employees both physically and psychologically, these result in burnout, health impairments, and a greater number of unsafe outcomes, as this study showed. Only the variable “physical demands” was not related to burnout or engagement.