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The relationship between burnout and turnover intention amongst employees at a selected electronics manufacturing company in South Africa
Marshall, George Harold
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The main aim of this dissertation is to examine the relationship between burnout and turnover intention at a selected electronics manufacturing company in South Africa. Voluntary turnover at the selected company has almost doubled during the five years preceding the study. As a result of the considerable pressures faced by employees at the selected company, due to its history of mergers and downsizings, this research proposes that turnover is high because employees are suffering from burnout. The literature review revealed that employees suffering from high burnout are more likely to consider leaving an organisation compared to those experiencing lower levels of burnout. This study employed a cross-sectional quantitative research methodology to evaluate the relationship between burnout and turnover intention at the selected company. The research data was collected by means of a self-administered structured questionnaire that included the Maslach Burnout Inventory − General Survey (MBI-GS) and a modified version of the Brough and Frame Turnover Intention survey. Although burnout is generally conceptualised as a three-dimensional construct, an analysis of the data in the present study revealed a two-dimensional solution with the MBI-GS items loading on two factors, namely exhaustion/cynicism and professional efficacy. This study shows that exhaustion/cynicism is the only burnout dimension that is associated with turnover intention at the selected company. According to the results, the levels of exhaustion/cynicism experienced by electronics manufacturing employees are positively significantly related to job cognitions, job search activities, likelihood of leaving and turnover intention. The research identified the job functions of employees and their satisfaction with stakeholder relationships as factors that can influence burnout and ultimately turnover intention at the selected company. According to the results, employees performing functions related to manufacturing indicated significantly higher levels of exhaustion/cynicism compared to those performing other functions. The results show that exhaustion/cynicism is negatively significantly associated with supervisor and subordinate relationships whereas professional efficacy is positively significantly associated with supervisor relationships. This dissertation concludes with recommendations to reduce burnout and ultimately increase retention of employees at the selected company. It is in the interest of the selected company to introduce training and wellness programmes that are prioritised for managers and factory workers to ensure that the affected employees have the required resources to cope with the job demands during periods of major organisational change.