Conceptualizing Job Burnout Through a Behavioral Lens: Implications for Organizational Behavior Management

Summer Bottini, Julie M. Slowiak, Amanda Kazee

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Provider burnout is a prevalent concern within the workforce. This is particularly true among behavioral providers serving autistic and neurodivergent individuals. Burnout warrants consideration given its known harmful effects on providers, their services, and the organizations within which they serve. To date, burnout has been largely conceptualized through mentalistic frameworks. This approach coupled with limited guidance on developing, implementing, and evaluating cost-effective systems- and organization-level interventions to address or reduce burnout, may contribute to findings that burnout interventions produce small and inconsistent effects. As a result, organizations may be less able or likely to invest in burnout prevention and management strategies. Organizational behavior management (OBM) may offer unique insights into addressing burnout. In this paper, we discuss how burnout may instead be conceptualized through a behavioral lens with a focus on burnout consistent behavior. We then describe the relevance of OBM practitioners in assessing burnout and functionally relevant stimuli/events (e.g. positive reinforcers, such as praise for overwork; negative reinforcers, such as escape/avoidance of aversive work tasks or client interactions), and considerations for using their existing skill set to inform the development of interventions to effectively prevent and/or manage burnout within organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior Management
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Taylor & Francis.


  • Burnout
  • employee well-being
  • job burnout
  • organizational behavior management


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