The effect of value congruence on nurses' work engagement and burnout

Yuanjie Bao, Simon Landau Dolan, Scott William Moodie, Rebekka Vedina

Producció científica: Contribució a una conferènciaContribució


This paper links the academic debate on person-organization fit with the increasingly topical issue of job strain among health care staff. The objective of the study is to find out the effect of value congruence between employees' personal values and organizational values on their burnout and work engagement. Drawing on Person-Organization Fit theories we define value congruence as the compatibility of personal and organizational values. Burnout is a prolonged state of exhaustion responding to emotional, mental, physical, and interpersonal stressors in the job, and is defined by the three dimensions of physical fatigue, emotional exhaustion and cognitive weariness. Work engagement is a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption. One of the sectors where workers are exposed to a high burnout risk is health care. We conducted a survey among 234 nurses working in Vall d'Hebron University Hospital in the Catalunya region of Spain. Estimations of the importance of values, Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure (SMBM) and Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) developed by Schaufeli and Bakker (2003) were included in the questionnaire. The respondents were asked to estimate the importance of values separately in their personal life and for their organization. We consider value congruence as a unidimensional construct, incongruence being the opposite of congruence. Thus, we use the absolute differences between the estimations of personal values and the perception of organizational values as a proxy for value congruence. The findings reveal that differences in estimations of achievement, importance of money and social justice and social responsibility have a negative effect on all three dimensions of work engagement and lead to higher burnout in its two dimensions - physical fatigue and emotional exhaustion. In addition, higher differences in personal and organizational values reflecting emotional aspect of life and work (e.g. passion, empathy, emotional satisfaction) increase emotional exhaustion. The results of the study are discussed in the light of the recent academic discussion (e.g. Bakker et al. 2005, 2006; Schaufeli et al. 2008, Van den Broeck et al. 2008) on conceptualizing work engagement as an opposite end of the same dimension a burnout, versus a self-standing construct. Our findings imply a conceptual independency of at least one dimension of burnout - emotional exhaustion - from the work engagement notion.
Idioma originalAnglès
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 4 de nov. 2010
Esdeveniment3rd Annual EuroMed Conference in Business 2010 -
Durada: 4 de nov. 20105 de nov. 2010


Conferència3rd Annual EuroMed Conference in Business 2010


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