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Leadership & People
Research insight
May 13, 2021

Two tales of rumination and burnout: examining the effects of boredom and overload

Abstract:

Although boredom poses serious consequences for employees and organizations, research has paid little attention to this phenomenon, especially when compared to other job experiences such as overload. Building upon the Effort-Recovery Model, our study examines the impact of these two sub-optimal experiences, characterized by under- and over-stimulation, on burnout via three facets of rumination. Using a time lagged design with three measurement moments and a sample of 152 participants, we found partial support for our hypotheses. Boredom and overload led to emotional exhaustion and disengagement 2 weeks later, via an increase in affective rumination. Overload also increased emotional exhaustion via reduced detachment, yet boredom reduced emotional exhaustion by facilitating detachment. These findings stress the importance of addressing boredom as a pervasive, although often silent, workplace phenomenon.


Authors: Teresa Sousa, Pedro Neves

You can find the research article here.


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