The construct validity of an alternative measure of burnout: investigating the English translation of the Oldenburg burnout inventory

J.R.B. Halbesleben, E. Demerouti

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291 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

While the most commonly employed burnout measure has been the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), researchers have been troubled by some of the psychometric limitations of that scale (e.g. wording of the scale items) as well as the limited conceptualization of burnout upon which it is based. As a result, Demerouti et al. have developed an alternative measure of burnout, the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI). The purpose of this paper is to develop evidence for the validity and reliability of an English-language translation of the OLBI. As such, this study is among the first validation studies of the OLBI, and the first to assess the characteristics of the OLBI an English-speaking sample. Using data from 2599 employees across two samples from the United States (a generalized sample of working adults and a sample of fire department employees), our preliminary multi-trait, multi-method (MTMM) and confirmatory factor analyses suggested that the OLBI may be a viable alternative to the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS). It demonstrates acceptable reliability (test-retest reliability and internal consistency) as well as factorial, convergent, and discriminant validity. We discuss the implications of this study for the measurement and conceptualization of burnout and suggest a variety of research directions that stem from our findings. Our findings suggest that the OLBI offers researchers an alternative measure of burnout that offers balanced wording, that can also be used to measure the opposite phenomenon (engagement), and provides an expanded conceptualization of the exhaustion component of burnout.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-220
Number of pages13
JournalWork and Stress
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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