The mark of recession in the hightech industry: High stress and low burnout

Ayala Malach-Pines, Nurit Zaidman

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

1 Scopus citations


Against the backdrop of the large and rapidly growing body of research testifying to the stress associated with the recession and its many physical and mental financial consequences for working individuals, for people in all stages of life, for couples and for families, comes the surprising finding of one positive outcome associated with the recession: a low level of burnout. A study of 70 employees of a large multinational high-tech company and a comparison sample of 167 employees in other high-tech companies revealed high levels of stress, low levels of burnout and high work importance and work performance. These findings support the notion based on the existential theory that a sense of work's importance buffers against burnout, but does not necessarily buffer against stress. The further implication of this finding is that the underlying dynamic of burnout is different from that of stress. This conclusion has an important practical implication for the differential treatment of stress and burnout at the organizational, work team and the individual level. It suggests that when attempting to prevent, reduce or treat burnout, the focus should not be merely on reducing stress, but rather on enhancing employees' sense of their work's importance and their own significant contribution. This goal can often be achieved without significant expenses, a huge advantage in times of recession and shrinking budgets. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of the Recession on the Workplace
EditorsAlexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou, Cary L. Cooper
Place of PublicationNorthampton, MA
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780857933836, 9780857933843
ISBN (Print)9780857933836
StatePublished - 30 Apr 2013

Publication series

NameNew horizons in management


  • Employee Attitudes
  • Job Performance
  • Occupational Stress
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Stress
  • Financial Strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)
  • Psychology (all)


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