Job Demands and Burnout: A Three-Way Multi-level Model of Boundary Conditions
Burnout is an ever-pressing matter in contemporary workspaces. The current research investigates the relation of job demands to burnout and the extent that this relationship is moderated by unit collective trust and firm competitive pressure via a multi-level analysis of 5485 workers in 2872 units in 89 firms in Germany. A three-level model of three-way cross-level interactions is used in which employees are nested within units, which in turn are nested within firms. The study findings revealed that job demands were positively related to burnout at the individual level, whereas unit-level collective trust moderated the link between job demands and burnout. Moreover, results supported a three-way interaction among job demands, collective trust and competitive pressure for the three levels in the study (individuals, units, firms): High levels of collective trust at the unit level were able to mitigate the positive relationship between job demands and burnout at the individual level. Results also suggested that burnout was the lowest in the condition of high job demands, high collective trust, and low competitive pressure. The nuances of the interplay among employee job demands, collective trust, and firm-level competitive pressure in predicting burnout are discussed, contributing to shaping a multi-level organizational context preventing the occurrence of employee burnout. Keywords: job demands, collective trust, competitive pressure, burnout, multi-level analysis"