The Association Between Workers' Employability and Burnout in a Reorganization Context: Longitudinal Evidence Building Upon the Conservation of Resources Theory

Nele de Cuyper, Sabine Raeder, Beatrice van der Heijden, Anette Wittekind

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This longitudinal study probes the relationship between employability and burnout among employees from a company undergoing reorganization. We advanced employability as a personal resource that relates negatively to burnout. We expected that this hypothesis would hold for different operationalizations of employability, including (1) job-related and (2) transferable skills, (3) willingness to change jobs and (4) to develop competences, (5) opportunity awareness, (6) self-esteem, and (7) self-perceived employability (i.e., perceived employment opportunities). In a similar vein, we expected that the hypothesis would hold for the different dimensions of burnout; namely emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. We used longitudinal Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) to test our hypotheses. Employees from a Swiss company undergoing a major reorganization were surveyed at three times with a total time lag of 19 months (Time 1: N = 287; Time 2: N = 128; Time 3: N = 107). Our results indicate that particularly self-esteem, but also job-related and transferable skills as indicators of one's employability were important predictors of burnout, with all relationships being negative
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-174
JournalJournal of occupational health psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-285809
  • IR-83709

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