Burnout [3rd-person PovI
Gregory Moorhead and Ricky W. Griffin
Occupational sociologists Gregory Moorhead and Ricky W. Griffin provide the following definition of burnout adapted from their book Organizational Behavior (Cengage Learning, 2009). Their definition pertains mainly to vocational work, but burnout can occur in any organization-church, government, recreation, even marriage and family
Burnout, a consequence of stress, has clear implications for both people and organizations. Burnout is a general feeling of exhaustion that develops when a person simultaneously experiences too much pressure and has too few sources of satis- faction. Burnout usually develops in the following way. First, people with high aspirations and strong motivation to get things done are prime candidates for burnout under certain conditions They are especially vulnerable when the organization suppresses or limits their initiative while constantly demanding that they serve the organization’s own ends. In such a situation, the individual is likely to put too much of himself or herself into the job. In other words, the person may well keep trying to meet his or her own agenda while simultaneously trying to fulfill the organization’s expectations. The most likely effects of this situation are prolonged stress, fatigue, frustration, and helplessness under the burden of overwhelming demands. The person liter- ally exhausts his or her aspiration and motivation, much as candle burns itself out. Loss of self-confidence and psychological withdrawal follow. Ultimately, burnout results. At this point the individual may start dreading going to work in the morning may put in longer hours but accomplish less than before, and may generally display mental and physical exhaustion.
1. Does the first sentence or the second sentence provide a better definition? Which one is the topic sentence for the paragraph? What are the subject and the focus parts of the topic sentence?
2. What other pattern-comparison and contrast, classification, cause and effect, or narration-provides structure for this defi- nition? Explain.
3. If you were going to personalize this definition, what other pattern(s) would you use? Explain.