Resilience Only Gets You So Far: Volunteer Incivility and Burnout

Sheridan B. Trent, Joseph A. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Although multiple factors have been found to induce burnout in volunteers, studies examining relationships among volunteer coworkers as a potential stressor are sorely lacking. Through the lens of conservation of resources (COR) theory, we investigated coworker (i.e., from both paid and unpaid coworkers) incivility as a predictor of burnout in a sample of volunteers. COR theory postulates that environmental stressors lead to burnout or other negative outcomes by depleting an individual’s resources. The present study also explored resilient coping as one factor that might help volunteers cope with the burnout emanating from incivility. Using regression, we found that incivility from paid and unpaid coworkers was positively associated with burnout. Resilient coping was tested and confirmed as a moderator of this relationship. Specifically, resilient coping was a useful buffer when the relationship between incivility and volunteer burnout was weaker, but was less effective at higher levels of incivility and burnout. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalOrganization Management Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019


  • Workplace incivility
  • burnout
  • coworker incivility
  • resilient coping
  • volunteer incivility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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