The authors thank members of the advisory board of the research project on motivation among medical consultants for their contribution: M. A. J. Eijkman, G. J. den Heeten, E. E. Können, G A. Kool, L. J. Krol, E. Oldenziel, and J. A. Swinkels. The authors also thank the Dutch Society of Medical Consultants for their cooperation in stimulating research participation. Finally, the authors thank M. Linzer and J. McMurray for their thoughtful comments on earlier drafts of the paper.
Perceived Inequity: Does It Explain Burnout Among Medical Specialists?1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 34, Issue 9, pages 1900–1918, September 2004
How to Cite
Smets, E. M. A., Visser, M. R. M., Oort, F. J., Schaufeli, W. B. and De Haes, H. J. C. J. M. (2004), Perceived Inequity: Does It Explain Burnout Among Medical Specialists?. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34: 1900–1918. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb02592.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
This study investigated, among medical specialists (N= 2,400), the association between perceived inequity in relationships at work (patients, colleagues, organization) and burnout, and the moderating role of communal orientation. Intrapersonal inequity, involving an internal standard of reference, and interpersonal inequity, taking colleagues as the standard of reference, were assessed. The adjusted response rate was 63%. Intrapersonal inequity affected all burnout dimensions: emotional exhaustion in all relationships at work, depersonalization in the relationship with patients, and reduced personal accomplishment in relationships with colleagues and the organization. Intrapersonal inequity explained more variance in burnout than did interpersonal inequity. Communal orientation did not moderate these associations. Hence, medical specialists are more vulnerable to burnout if they perceive their relationships at work to be inequitable, regardless of their tendency to help others. Organizations might, therefore, prevent burnout by creating a working environment that is supportive and appreciative.