SA Journal of Industrial Psychology
On-line version ISSN 0258-5200
ORIENTATION: Burnout seems to be particularly common amongst professionals who help and enable people to cope with the demands of their daily lives. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The study focused on the magnitude and nature of burnout amongst Namibian teachers as well as the influence of biographical factors on their levels of burnout. Another aim was to determine the extent to which the results of this study correlate with research findings in other countries. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researchers used a non-experimental research method. The study involved more than 300 secondary school teachers from the Windhoek region of Namibia. They administered the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and a biographical questionnaire to achieve the goals of the study. MAIN FINDINGS: The main findings of the study were that the participants experienced similar levels of burnout compared to teachers in other countries. This was especially true for emotional exhaustion. Teaching experience was the biographical variable that yielded the most significant positive correlation with burnout. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: The education authorities should address the emotional needs of secondary school teachers in Namibia urgently. They should introduce effective burnout intervention and prevention programmes. These programmes could result in higher levels of job satisfaction and educational effectiveness. They could also lead to increased general fulfilment and better teacher retention.