(How) are Emotionally Exhausted Employees Harmful?

International Journal of Stress Management 2012, Vol. 19, No. 3, 198–216

19 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2014

See all articles by George C. Banks

George C. Banks

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

Christopher Whelpley

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

In‐Sue Oh

Temple University - Department of Human Resource Management

Kanghyun Shin

Ajou University, College of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology

Date Written: July 9, 2012

Abstract

Previous research has not considered potential mediating mechanisms (e.g., employee attitudes) through which emotional exhaustion influences counterproductive work behaviors (CWB) targeted at individual stakeholders (CWB-I) and the organization (CWB-O). Drawing upon the stressor-emotion model of CWB and social exchange theory, we examine organizational commitment as a mediator between emotional exhaustion and CWB. One hundred and 13 general employees in a large, South Korean banking company, completed surveys along with their supervisors. Results show that organizational commitment fully mediates the relation between emotional exhaustion and both CWB-I and CWB-O; the 95% confidence intervals for the indirect effect through organizational commitment do not include zero for both CWB-I (.02, .21) and CWB-O (.01, .22). These empirical findings indicate that emotional exhaustion leads to CWB through a decline in the commitment of an employee, which consequently makes the occurrence of CWB more likely. We discuss the implications for the function of organizational commitment in the stressor-emotion model of CWB and implications for reducing stress in the workplace.

Keywords: Emotional exhaustion, counterproductive work behavior, organizational commitment, stressor-emotion model, social exchange theory

Suggested Citation

Banks, George C. and Whelpley, Christopher and Oh, In-Sue and Shin, Kanghyun, (How) are Emotionally Exhausted Employees Harmful? (July 9, 2012). International Journal of Stress Management 2012, Vol. 19, No. 3, 198–216. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2401051

George C. Banks

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) ( email )

1015 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, VA 23284
United States

Christopher Whelpley

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

1015 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, VA 23284
United States

In-Sue Oh (Contact Author)

Temple University - Department of Human Resource Management ( email )

1801 Liacouras Walk
Alter Hall 343
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.fox.temple.edu/mcm_people/in-sue-oh/

Kanghyun Shin

Ajou University, College of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology

Suwon
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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