Journal Articles

Exploration of burnout in early-career construction management professionals in the USA


Construction managers face many work-related stressors induced by unrealistic schedule expectations, tight budgets, and long hours. Over time, these stressors can result in both mental and physical exhaustion, a condition referred to as burnout. Early-career managers are a key worker demographic, as they represent the near-term future of the construction industry, yet they have a high risk for burnout. The purpose of this study is to explore the prevalence of burnout in new construction managers, and to identify which individual or work-related factors are associated with feelings of burnout. Using the Maslach Burnout Inventory General Survey (MBI-GS), data from 146 early-career professionals (less than 10 years of experience) with construction management degrees in the USA were collected and analyzed using correlational and best subset regression techniques. The results show that the early-career demographic in the USA experiences both the Emotional Exhaustion and Cynicism dimensions of burnout at comparable levels to prior studies with more mid-to-late career respondents. However, the Professional Efficacy dimension was significantly higher in early-career professionals than any other sample. No individual factors, such as gender, marital status, or number of children, were predictive of any dimension of burnout. Instead, only work-related factors including co-worker friendliness, opportunities for personal development and promotion, and the ability to control the work pacing were strongly associated with one or more dimensions of burnout. This study is the first to explore burnout in the key early-career demographic for construction managers in the United States construction industry. This work provides evidence that organizational policies and culture have a greater efficacy in alleviating burnout in this demographic, when compared to the work–life balance of the individual.


Publication Date: 11/25/2021

Source: Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management


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