On the Role of Passion for Work in Burnout: A Process Model


concerning this article should be addressed to Robert J. Vallerand, Laboratoire de recherche sur le comportement social, Université du Québec à Montréal, Case Postale 8888, succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal QC H3C 3P8, Canada. E-mail: vallerand.robert_j@uqam.ca.


ABSTRACT The purpose of the present research was to test a model on the role of passion for work in professional burnout. This model posits that obsessive passion produces conflict between work and other life activities because the person cannot let go of the work activity. Conversely, harmonious passion is expected to prevent conflict while positively contributing to work satisfaction. Finally, conflict is expected to contribute to burnout, whereas work satisfaction should prevent its occurrence. This model was tested in 2 studies with nurses in 2 cultures. Using a cross-sectional design, Study 1 (n=97) provided support for the model with nurses from France. In Study 2 (n=258), a prospective design was used to further test the model with nurses from the Province of Quebec over a 6-month period. Results provided support for the model. Specifically, harmonious passion predicted an increase in work satisfaction and a decrease in conflict. Conversely, obsessive passion predicted an increase of conflict. In turn, work satisfaction and conflict predicted decreases and increases in burnout changes that took place over time. The results have important implications for theory and research on passion as well as burnout.