Burnout and reciprocity: Towards a dual-level social exchange model

Wilmar B. Schaufeli*, Dirk Van Dierendonck, Karin Van Gorp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


A tentative dual-level social exchange model of burnout and organizational commitment is proposed that includes social exchange relationships at the interpersonal level (i.e. between human services professional, or caregiver, and recipient) as well as at the organizational level (i.e. between employees and organization). The model was tested and cross-validated in two independent samples that consisted of 220 and 142 student nurses, respectively, by using linear structural modelling with LISREL VII. The hypothesized model assumes that lack of reciprocity at both levels is positively related to burnout, whereas poor organizational commitment is exclusively related to lack of reciprocity at the organizational level. This model fitted reasonably well to the data of both samples. The limitations of the study and its practical implications are discussed, and directions for future research on the dual-level social exchange model are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-237
Number of pages13
JournalWork and Stress
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1996


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