Antecedents of Job Burnout Among Small Company Presidents


  • Richard C. Becherer The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Diane Halstead The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • John Maurer Emeritus Professor of Management Wayne State University


Several studies suggest that small business presidents  may be especially susceptible  to job burnout because of their personality traits  and the unique  organizational demands of their position. This issue  has not been directly tested in small business research, however. This exploratory study examined the relationship of several personal, work, and environmental characteristics to job burnout among  2 I 5 small company presidents. A series of regression analyses found that five variables explained 44 percent of the variation in burnout levels among small business presidents. Each of the five predictor variables was individually significantly related to burnout. The results of this study suggest that effective  coping strategies for job burnout among small company presidents may be both individual- and situation-specific.


Download data is not yet available.


Anderson, M. B. G., & Iwanicki, E. F. (1984). Teacher motivation and its relationship to burnout. Educational Administration Quarterly, 20, 109-132.

Bateman, T. S., & Crant, J. M. ( 1993). The proactive component of organizational behavior: A measure and correlates. Journal of Organizational Behavior. 14, 103-1 18.

Beatty, C. A. (1996). The stress of managerial and professional women: ls the price too high? Journal of Organizational Behavior. 17. 233-251.

Behrman, D., Bigoness, W., & Perreault, W., Jr. (1981). Sources of job related ambiguity and their consequences upon salespersons job satisfaction and performance. Management Science. 27. 1246-60.

Burke, R. J., & Deszca, E. (1986). Correlates of psychological burnout phases among police officers. Human Relations. 39. 487-502.

Burke, R. J., & Greenglass, E. R. (1995). A longitudinal study of psychological burnout in teachers. Human Relations. 48, 187-202.

Caplan, R. D., Cobb, S., French Jr., J. R. P., Van Harrison, R., & Pinneau Jr., S. R. (1980). Job demands and worker health main effects and occupational differences. Research Report Series, Ann Arbor, Ml: Institute for Social Research.

Cordes, C. L., & Dougheny, T. W. (1993). A review and an integration of research on job burnout. Academy of Management Review, 18(4), 621-656.

Covin, J. G., and Slevin, D. P. ( 1 989). Strategic management of small finns in hostile and benign environments. Strategic Management Journal, 10, 75-87.

Crant, J. M. ( 1995). The proactive personality scale and objective job perfonnance among real estate agents. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80(4), 532-537.

Davidson, M. J. & Cooper. C. ( 1 988). The pressures on women managers. Management Decision. 25(4), 57-63.

Dubin, R. ( 1 956). I nd ustrial workers' worlds: A study of the central l ife interests of industrial workers. Social Problems. 3. 131 -142.

Finh, H. & Britton, P. (1989). Burnout, absence and turnover amongst British nursing staff. Journal of Occu pational Psychology, 62, 55-59.

French, J. R. & Caplan, R. D. ( 1972). Organ izational stress and ind ividual strain. In A.J. Morrow (Ed.), The failure of success. New York: A MACOM, 30-66.

Ganster, & Schaubroeck. (1991). Work, stress and employee health. Journal of Management, lL 235-271.

Gold, Y. (1985). Does teacher burnout begin with student teach ing? Education, 105, 254-257. Guest, R. H. (1955-56). Of time and personnel. Personnel, 32, 478-486.

Harlan, A. & Jansen, M. (1987). The psychological and physical well-being of women in sex­ stereotyped occu pations. Journal of Employment Counseling, March, 31 -39.

Hobfoll, S. E. ( 1 989). Conservation of resources: A new attempt at conceptua l izing stress. American Psychologist, 44, 513-524.

Hobfoll, S. E., & Freedy, J. (1993). Conservation of resources: A general stress theory applied to burnout. I n W.B. Schaufel i, C. Maslach, & T. Marek (Eds.), Professional burnout: Recent developments in theory and research. Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis, 1 15-129.

Jackson, S. E. ( 1984). Organ izational practices for preventing burnout. In A.S. Seth i & R.S. Schu ler (Eds.), Handbook of organizational stress coping strategies. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 89-1 1 1.

Jackson, S. E. & Maslach, C. (1982). After-effects of job-related stress: Fam ilies as victims. Journal of Occu pational Behavior, 3, 63-77.

Jackson, S. E. & Schu ler, R. S. ( 1983). Preventing employee burnout. Personnel, 60(2), 58-68.

Jackson, S. E., Schwab, R. L., & Schuler, R.S. (1986). Toward an understanding of the burnout phenomenon. Journal of Appl ied Psychology, 71 , 630-640.

Jackson, S. E., Turner, J.A., & Brief, A. P. (1987). Correlates of burnout among public service lawyers. Journal of Occupational Behavior, 8. 339-349.

Kahill, S. (1988). Symptoms of professional burnout: A review of the empirical evidence. Canadian Psychology, 29. 284-297.

Kahn, R. (1978). Job burnout: Prevention and remedies. Public Welfare. 36. 61-63.

Karasek, R. A. & Theorell, T. (1990). Healthy work: Stress, productivity and the reconstruction of working life. New York: Basic Books.

Khandwalla, P. N. (1977). The design oforgan izations. New York: Harcoun Brace Jovanovich.

Lee, R. T., & Ashfonh, B. E. (1993). A further exam ination of managerial burnout: Toward an integrated model. Journal of Organ izational Behavior. 14, 3-20.

Lee, R. T., & Ashforth, B. E. (I996). A meta-analytic examination of the correlates of the three dimensions of job burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology. 81(2), 123-133.

Leiter, M. P., & Maslach, C. (1988). The impact of interpersonal environment on burnout and organizational comm itment. Journal of Organ izational Behavior, 9, 297-308.

Maslach, C. (1982). Burnout: The cost of caring. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (1981 ). The measurement of experienced burnout. Journal of Occupationa l Behavior, 2, 99-1 13.

Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. ( 1985). The role of sex and fam ily variables in burnout. Sex Roles, 1 2, 837-851.

Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. ( 1986). The Maslach Burnout I nventory. Palo Alto, CA: Consu lting Psychologists Press.

Miller, D., & Friesen, P. H. ( 1982). Innovation in conservative and entrepreneurial firms: Two models of strategic momentum. Strategic Management Journal, 3. 1-25.

Mintzberg, H. ( 1 973). The Nature of Managerial Work. New York: Harper and Row.

Naman, J. L., & Slevin, D. P. (1993). Entrepreneurship and the concept of fit: A model and empirical tests. Strategic Management Journal, 14, 1 37-1 53.

Quick, J. C., Bhagat, R. S., & Da lton, J. E. (1987). Work stress: Health care systems in the work place. New York: Praeger.

Rahim, A. ( 1996). Stress, strain, and their moderators: An em pirical com parison of entrepreneurs and managers. Journal of Small Business Management, 34(1 ), 46-58.

Rizzo, J. R., House, R .J., & Lirtzman, S. I. (1970). Role conflict and ambigu ity in com plex organizat ions. Adm in istrative Science Quarterly, 1 5, June, 150-163.

Russell, D. W., Altmaier, E., & Yan Velzen, D. (1987). Job-related stress, social support, and burnout among classroom teachers. Journal of Appl ied Psychology. 72. 269-274.

SBA Small Business Week. [Online]. Small Business Adm inistration (SBA). htt p://smal l l [2000, February, 25].

Sease, R., Goffee, R., & Mann, A. (1987). Women managers: I. Room at the top and 2. Destroyi ng the myths. Management Today, March, 64-67.

Schwab, R. L., & I wan ick i, E. F. (1982). Perceived role conflict, role ambiguity, and teacher burnout. Educational Adm in istration Quarterly. 18, 60-74.

Schwab, R. L., & I wan ick i, E. F. (1982). Who are our burned out teachers? Educational Research Quarterly, 7, 5-16.

Singh, J. (1 993). Boundary role ambigu ity: Facets, determinants, and impacts. Journal of Market in g, 57(2), 1 1 -31.

Singh, J., Goolsby, J. R., & Rhoads, G. K. (1994). Behavioral and psychological consequences of boundary spanning burnout for customer service representatives. Journal of Marketing Research, 31 (4), 558-569.

Singh, J., & Rhoads, G. K. (1991 ). Boundary role ambiguity in marketing-oriented positions: A mu lt idimensional, mu ltifaceted operationalization. Journal of Marketing Research, 28(3), 328-338.

Timmons, J. (1999). New Venture Creation. New York: Irwin McGraw-Hill.

Wolpin, J., Burke, R. J., & Greenglass, E. R. ( 1991). Is job satisfaction an antecedent or a consequence of psychological burnout? Human Relations, 44, 193-209.




How to Cite

Becherer, R. C., Halstead, D., & Maurer, J. (2000). Antecedents of Job Burnout Among Small Company Presidents. Journal of Small Business Strategy, 11(1), 26–38. Retrieved from