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Is public healthcare healthy? The role of emotional exhaustion

M. Ángeles López-Cabarcos (University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
Analía López-Carballeira (University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
Carlos Ferro-Soto (University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain)

Baltic Journal of Management

ISSN: 1746-5265

Article publication date: 17 March 2021

Issue publication date: 20 May 2021

287

Abstract

Purpose

This study analyzes the mediating effect of emotional exhaustion between certain job demands (workload, role conflict, and influence at work) and employees' work attitudes (affective commitment and turnover intention) in public healthcare. Furthermore, it analyzes the moderating effect of possibilities for development and the degree of freedom at work between the above-mentioned job demands and emotional exhaustion.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 512 healthcare professionals participated in the study. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling and a hierarchical multiple regression analysis.

Findings

The results show that emotional exhaustion fully mediates the relationship between job demands (workload and role conflict) and work attitudes (affective commitment and turnover intention). Moreover, the possibilities for development and degree of freedom at work moderate the relationship between role conflict and emotional exhaustion.

Practical implications

Strategies should be designed to prevent employees from becoming emotionally exhausted and lead them to feel more motivated, which results in a more effective public healthcare service.

Originality/value

This study stresses the importance of analyzing the role of emotional exhaustion in the public healthcare context. It demonstrates the mediating role of this variable between several antecedents and consequences, and it analyzes whether other relevant variables can moderate the negative effects of emotional exhaustion.

Keywords

Citation

López-Cabarcos, M.Á., López-Carballeira, A. and Ferro-Soto, C. (2021), "Is public healthcare healthy? The role of emotional exhaustion", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 386-406. https://doi.org/10.1108/BJM-04-2020-0136

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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