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Occupational burnout: a cross‐cultural Israeli Jewish‐Arab perspective and its implications for career counselling

Ayala Malach Pines (School of Management, Ben‐Gurion University, Beer‐Sheva, Israel)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Publication date: 1 April 2003


Since the 1970s, occupational burnout has become a popular topic of research and an important concern for career counsellors. The majority of studies on burnout focussed on documenting its existence within certain occupational groups. The assumption underlying these studies is that occupational burnout is a universal phenomenon that can be best explained by the stresses characterising a particular occupation or organisation. Few studies examined burnout cross‐culturally. The present study attempted to demonstrate the importance of such a cross‐cultural perspective using a comparison between Israeli Jews and Arabs, who live in the same country but are culturally different: Arabs traditional and collectivist, Jews modern and individualistic. Interviews with representative samples of the Jewish and Arab populations in Israel show significant differences in occupational burnout and various burnout correlates. Thus, Arabs’ burnout correlated negatively with the quality of relationships with mother and father, Jews’ with superiors and co‐workers. Arabs were significantly less likely than Jews to talk about a work‐related problem or approach a counsellor. These findings have both theoretical and practical implications for career counselling.



Malach Pines, A. (2003), "Occupational burnout: a cross‐cultural Israeli Jewish‐Arab perspective and its implications for career counselling", Career Development International, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 97-106.




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