Professor dr. Arnold B. Bakker; Professor of Work and Organizational Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Past President of EAWOP.

Job Demands-Resources Model

The Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007; Demerouti et al., 2001) can be used to predict employee burnout and engagement, and consequently organizational performance.

At the heart of the JD-R model lies the assumption that whereas every occupation may have its own causes of employee well-being, these factors can be classified in two general categories (i.e., job demands and job resources), thus constituting an overarching model that may be applied to various occupational settings, irrespective of the particular demands and resources involved.

Extensive research has provided evidence for the existence of two simultaneous processes. High job demands exhaust employees’ mental and physical resources and therefore lead to the depletion of energy and to health problems. This is the health impairment process. In contrast, job resources foster employee engagement and extra-role performance. This is the motivational process.

Importantly, several studies have shown that job resources may buffer the impact of job demands on stress-reactions. In addition, research has confirmed that job resources particularly have motivational potential when job demands are high.

The JD-R model is currently tested in Spain, Greece, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Belgium, South Africa, China, and Australia.

The South African Journal of Industrial Psychology has published a special issue on the JD-R model in 2011 (guest editors: Eva Demerouti & Arnold Bakker).