Emotional exhaustion as a predictor of job performance and voluntary turnover

J Appl Psychol. 1998 Jun;83(3):486-93. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.83.3.486.


Recent research suggests that a better understanding of emotional exhaustion requires the development of new theoretical perspectives. To that end, with the conservation of resources model (COR) as the theoretical framework, the present 1-year longitudinal study was undertaken. Composed of 52 social welfare workers, this research examined the relationship of emotional exhaustion to job satisfaction, voluntary turnover, and job performance. Positive affectivity (PA) and negative affectivity (NA) were used as control variables. Whereas emotional exhaustion was unrelated to job satisfaction, it was associated with both performance and subsequent turnover. In addition, the relationship between emotional exhaustion and performance and also between emotional exhaustion and turnover remained significant above and beyond the effects of PA and NA. Future research directions and implications of the findings are introduced.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / physiology*
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Personnel Turnover*