Changes in work intensification and intensified learning: Challenge or hindrance demands?

Christian Korunka, Bettina Kubicek, Matea Paškvan, Heike Ulferts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Increasing speed in many life domains is currently being discussed under the term “social acceleration” as a societal phenomenon which not only affects western societies, but may also lead to job demands arising from accelerated change. Demands such as work intensification and intensified learning and their changes over time may increase emotional exhaustion, but may also induce positive effects. The purpose of this paper is to examine how increases in demands arising from accelerated change affect employee well-being. Design/methodology/approach - A total of 587 eldercare workers provided data on work intensification and intensified learning as well as on exhaustion and job satisfaction at two points in time. Findings - Work intensification was negatively related to future job satisfaction and positively related to future emotional exhaustion, whereas intensified learning was positively associated with future job satisfaction and negatively with future emotional exhaustion. Social implications - Intensified demands represents a growing social as well as work-specific challenge which needs to be addressed by practitioners. Originality/value - Using a longitudinal perspective this study is the first to examine the relationship of increases in work intensification and intensified learning with job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion at work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-800
Number of pages15
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2015


  • Challenge-hindrance approach
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Intensified learning
  • Job satisfaction
  • Social acceleration
  • Work intensification


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