Burnout and work engagement: Independent factors or opposite poles?

Vicente González-Romá, Wilmar B. Schaufeli, Arnold B. Bakker, Susana Lloret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

580 Citations (Scopus)


Burnout researchers have proposed that the conceptual opposites of emotional exhaustion and cynicism (the core dimensions of burnout) are vigor and dedication (the core dimensions of engagement), respectively (Maslach & Leiter, 1997; Schaufeli, Salanova, González-Romá, & Bakker, 2002). We tested this proposition by ascertaining whether two sets of items, exhaustion-vigor and cynicism-dedication, were scalable on two distinct underlying bipolar dimensions (i.e., energy and identification, respectively). The results obtained by means of the non-parametric Mokken scaling method in three different samples (Ns = 477, 507, and 381) supported our proposal: the core burnout and engagement dimensions can be seen as opposites of each other along two distinct bipolar dimensions dubbed energy and identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-174
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar dimensions
  • Job burnout
  • Mokken Scaling
  • Work engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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