270320 Organizational social capital, personality and emotional exhaustion in hospital employees: A multilevel approach

Monday, October 29, 2012

Holger Pfaff , Faculty of Human Science and Faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne, Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science, Cologne, Germany
Anika Nitzsche , Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science, University of Cologne, Germany, Faculty of Human Science and Faculty of Medicine, Cologne, Germany
Julia Jung , Faculty of Human Science and Faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne, Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science, Cologne, Germany
Lena Ansmann , Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Human Science and Faculty of, University of Cologne, Koeln, Germany
Christoph Kowalski , Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Human Science and Faculty of, University of Cologne, Koeln, Germany
Background and objective: The aim of the study is to investigate whether organizational social capital is a predictor of emotional exhaustion in breast center employees after accounting for personality traits. Methods: Two data sets were combined to minimize the problem of common method variance: survey data from 1050 employees (response rate: 51%) and from 87 key informants (e.g.: department heads; response rate: 97%) of breast center hospitals in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. After combining both data sets, data of 772 employees from 48 hospitals were analyzed in the final multi-level logistic regression model. Data on emotional exhaustion were obtained using the Maslach Burnout Inventory HS. Data collected at the hospital level (key informants) included number of patients, teaching status and hospital ownership. Individual social capital measured by a highly reliable 6-item scale - was aggregated on hospital level. Personality was measured using the Big 5 measurement approach. Results: High emotional exhaustion was significantly more likely if employees worked in hospitals with poorer social capital. Other hospital characteristics were not associated with higher emotional exhaustion. These associations persisted after including the Big 5 variables in the model. Neuroticism was positively associated with higher emotional exhaustion. Conclusion: Despite methodological limitations (e.g. cross-sectional data, common method variance), the data suggest that high social capital in the hospital - operationalized as a contextual (i.e. level 2) characteristic - is associated with a reduced risk of emotional exhaustion, independent of the Big 5 personality traits.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Assess the role of organizational social capital in regard to burnout prevention Demonstrate that burnout is not only a matter of personality, but also a matter of organizational characteristics

Keywords: Health Care Workers, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of multiple federally funded grants (german government) focusing on the health promotion at work and work stress and burnout. Among my scientific interests has been the investigation of the relationship between social capital and health
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.