The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between stress and burnout in high-risk occupations and how leadership moderates this relationship. Thus, the primary research question addressed within this study is: What is the relationship between stress and burnout in high-risk occupations as governed by transformational leadership behavior?
An analysis of primary data obtained by survey from 379 police officers from nine southern and southwestern agencies was conducted. Hierarchical regression analysis, multiple moderated hierarchical regression analysis, bivariate correlation analyses and other statistical methods are used.
Results indicate police stress exacerbates perceived burnout. Transformational leadership influences this relationship such that high levels of perceived transformational leadership attenuates the negative relationship between stress and burnout, but less so under highly stressful conditions. Findings have strong implications for leaders in high-risk occupations where bureaucracy, departmental policy, and life and death decision-making intersect.
This study can be used as a basis for further inquiry into the effects of transformational leadership on individuals' perceptions of performance, behavioral and psychological criterion variables in high-risk occupations.
The assessment of relationships among stress and burnout in high-risk occupational settings potentially allows managers to better understand how to structure supervisor-subordinate relationships in order to minimize the effects of stress on perceived burnout and provides a more realistic view of how individuals in high-risk occupations are influenced by leader behaviors under stressful conditions.
This study is thought to be the only one to evaluate the moderated relationships among stress, transformational leadership and burnout in high-risk occupations characterized by increasingly stressful circumstances. More specifically, the notion that individuals in high-risk occupations perceive burnout differently than those in less-risky occupations is not prevalent in the literature.
M. Russell, L. (2014), "An empirical investigation of high-risk occupations: Leader influence on employee stress and burnout among police", Management Research Review, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 367-384. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRR-10-2012-0227Download as .RIS
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