The Job Characteristics Model on the Emotional Burnout of Prison Staff

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 4
Words: 550
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: Bachelor

The article discusses the issue of job burnout among prison staff. Specifically, job characteristics such as job autonomy, job feedback, supervision, and job variety are discussed. The authors indicate that providing feedback to employees on job performance can result in positive affective feelings for staff which can influence the way they perform their tasks (Lambert et al. 2011). Feedback provides clarity which in turn reduces the strain that workers may experience during working hours.

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On the other hand, a lack of feedback creates difficulties which can increase the chances of suffering from exhaustion. Job autonomy assists workers to feel in charge of their jobs which raises the level of positive feelings resulting from the job. Lack of job autonomy may create stress and frustrations because the workers feel they have no say in matters relating to their jobs (Lambert et al. 2011). The paper also asserts that control is essential in preventing burnout in prison staff. Other job characteristics such as supervision and job variety did not have significant effects on burnout.

The authors indicate that burnout in prison is more common because of the unwillingness of prisoners to carry out their tasks within the premises. This factor increases the chances of staff developing burnout in prisons. “Prison work is not seen as a desirable work choice because of the negative perception that is portrayed in movies and television” (Stohr and Walsh 2017, 157) This is a concept that is interesting because it paints the real picture of what most prison workers experience.

The ideas introduced within the paper are not new or specialized terminologies. This is because the topic of burnout has been researched widely by many scholars. The authors of the paper are objective and do not indicate in any way a preference for certain topics. This is evidenced by how the authors provide information on all the aspects of job characteristics. When writers favor a particular side, they tend to leave out important details on the other side which can be essential to the reader.

The study on burnout among prison staff is essential because research on the topic has been neglected. A review of the literature only resulted in sixteen published studies on correctional staff burnout (Lambert et al. 2011). The lack of papers on the issue creates a challenge for the people working in prisons. This is because such studies can provide strategies workers can use to deal with exhaustion in jails. This research discusses the problem and identifies the characteristic job factors that affect the staff members. This is important because stakeholders working in the penitentiaries can use the research to find out the job characteristics that impact their workers.

The authors indicate that among all the job characteristics factors (supervision, job variety, job feedback, and job autonomy) job autonomy is the factor that has a significant effect on emotional burnout. This is a finding that can impact the human resource management in jails because it enhances the stress levels and exhaustion of employees. Focusing on creating autonomy for the personnel can assist in preventing the development of burnout. This study indicates that other papers should focus on the consequences of tiredness and fatigue on the prison staff. This shows that the authors ensured that they provided directions for further research on the topic.


Lambert, Eric G., Nancy L. Hogan, Kelly Cheeseman Dial, Shanhe Jiang, and Mahfuzul I. Khondaker. 2011. “Is the Job Burning Me Out? An Exploratory Test of The Job Characteristics Model on The Emotional Burnout of Prison Staff.” The Prison Journal 92(1): 3-23. Web.

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