Burnout from an extended social model perspective: Lived experiences of burnout, lasting burnout effects and returning to work

Frederike Scholz, Koen Van Laer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, workplaces were already creating a pandemic leading to the burnout of its workers. Depending on the severity, burnout can result in extended periods of inability to work, after which individuals potentially return to work. However, the effects of burnout are often not over when individuals return to their workplace, not only as it can impact their future careers, but also as individuals can experience lasting burnout effects. Despite recognizing the role of organizational causes, research on burnout and interventions adopts a largely individualized, medical and psychological lens. Adopting a disability studies lens, this chapter aims to go beyond this individualized view of burnout and draws on 13 interviews with individuals who had a burnout to explore their experiences with burnout, lasting burnout effects and their return to work. We show how the predominant ways of thinking about burnout result in it being largely approached as an individual failure rather than an organizational problem. This leads to organizational sources of burnout being unaddressed and forces individuals returning to work to conform again to the norms of the economic system that led to their burnout in the first place.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDe Gruyter handbook of disability and management
EditorsJoy E. Beatty, Sophie Hennekam, Mukta Kulkarni
PublisherDe Gruyter
Chapter18
Pages305-318
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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