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Preliminary Examination of the Relationship Between Organisational Structure and Emotional Burnout Among Correctional Staff

NCJ Number
Howard Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 49 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2010 Pages: 125-146
Eric G. Lambert; Nancy L. Hogan; Shanhe Jiang
Date Published
May 2010
22 pages
This study explored the link between organizational structure and correctional staff burnout.
In any nation, correctional staff are the greatest asset of any correctional facility. In an era where rising costs, shrinking budgets, and personnel shortages are common, it is increasingly important to provide a positive work environment to ensure worker stability. The research indicates that job burnout is a negative response that is influenced by the work environment. This study examined the effects of organizational structure on emotional burnout among correctional staff at a state-run prison. Promotional opportunity, integration, formalization, instrumental communication, and input into decisionmaking are the major forms of organizational structure. In addition to the above forms of organizational structure, the amount of daily contact and the personal characteristics of tenure, position, educational level, race, age, gender, and supervisory status were included as independent variables. In a multivariate analysis, supervisory status, degree of inmate contact, promotional opportunity, formalization, instrumental communication, and input into decisionmaking all had statistically significant associations with emotional burnout. The results support the postulation that organizational structure influences the emotional burnout of correctional staff. Tables and references (Published Abstract)