The relationship between coping and burnout of academic managerial personnel
Kloppers, Dorothea Lize
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A healthy academic community is essential for the creation of an environment favourable to the development of managerial competence in education. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between burnout and coping strategies of academic managerial personnel at a tertiary education institution. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The study population consisted of 70 academic managers at a tertiary education institution from the job levels of departmental heads, directors of schools and deans of faculties. The COPE questionnaire and Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey were administered. Statistical analysis was carried out with the SAS-program. Cronbach alpha coefficients, inter-item correlations and confirmatory factor analysis were used to assess the reliability and validity of the measuring instruments. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were used to specify the relationships between the variables. Canonical correlation was used to determine the relationships between the dimensions of burnout and coping strategies. The results indicate that in general, academic managerial personnel at a tertiary education institution in South Africa experience low levels of burnout. A positive correlation between active coping and both exhaustion and professional efficacy were found. A positive correlation was also found between focus on and venting of emotions and exhaustion. More specifically, the results show that active coping, planning and positive reinterpretation was associated with exhaustion and professional efficacy. It appears that academic managerial personnel utilise both problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies, and the coping strategies of planning, active coping and positive reinterpretation and growth were used most often to deal with potential stress factors. Recommendations for the organisation and future research were made.