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Contaduría y administración

Print version ISSN 0186-1042

Contad. Adm vol.67 n.3 Ciudad de México Jul./Sep. 2022  Epub June 06, 2023 


Impact of empowerment on job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and burnout in teachers in Mexico

Rosalba Treviño Reyes1  * 

Jesús Fabián López Pérez1 

1Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, México


This research analyzes the relationship between Structural Empowerment and Remuneration with Job Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment and Burnout through Psychological Empowerment in middle higher school teachers in Mexico, as well as their contrasts and differences in impact between segmentation groups. The study was carried out with a non-experimental and cross-sectional design with correlational and causal scope. The measurement instrument was applied to a sample of 167 teachers, whose data were analyzed using the structural equations method. The findings support the positive impact of Structural Empowerment on Job Satisfaction, and Remuneration on Organizational Commitment, through Psychological Empowerment; but they do not endorse the negative impact on Burnout, which contrasts with the literature reviewed. It is recommended to continue refining the measurement instrument and to continue with the analysis of Burnout in other contexts and organizational areas. Teachers to whom the organization provides support, information, resources and opportunities to learn and develop have higher levels of Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment, as well as those who are better paid are more committed to their work and institution. Among the limitations, the following stand out: the data is collected once in time and the sample was oriented to those teachers who were available to answer the surveys.

JEL Code: I20; I29; M12

Keywords: structural empowerment; psychological empowerment; burnout; teachers; public institutions


La presente investigación analiza la relación entre el Empderamiento Estructural y las Remuneraciones con la Satisfacción Laboral, el Compromiso Organizacional y el Burnout mediante el Empoderamiento Psicológico en docentes de educación media superior en México, así como sus contrastes y diferencias de impacto entre los grupos de segmentación. Se realizó el estudio con un diseño no experimental y transversal con alcance correlacional y causal. Se aplicó el instrumento de medición a una muestra de 167 docentes, cuyos datos fueron analizados bajo el método de ecuaciones estructurales. Los hallazgos avalan el impacto positivo del Empoderamiento Estructural en la Satisfacción Laboral, y de las Remuneraciones en el Compromiso Organizacional, mediante el Empoderamiento Psicológico; pero no avalan el impacto negativo en el Burnout, lo cual contrasta con la literatura revisada. Los docentes a quienes la organización les brinda apoyo, información, recursos y oportunidades para aprender y desarrollarse presentan mayores niveles de Satisfacción Laboral y Compromiso Organizacional, así como quienes son mejor remunerados se encuentran más comprometidos con su labor e institución. Entre las limitaciones destacan: los datos son recabados una vez en el tiempo y se orientó la muestra a aquellos docentes que estuvieran disponibles para responder las encuestas.

Código JEL: I20; I29; M12

Palabras clave: empoderamiento estructural; empoderamiento psicológico; burnout; docentes; instituciones públicas

Statement of the problem

In the light of current economic and social changes, organizations are not only concerned with achieving competitiveness and excellent results but also face new challenges related to human capital, with the attitudes and behaviors of their workers considered as the most important resource to achieve success.

Considering the economic, professional, labor, organizational, and educational context, it is becoming increasingly important to have an approach focused on what people do in an organization and how their behavior affects their performance. It is therefore interesting to study and analyze issues related to Job Satisfaction, Motivation, Organizational Commitment, Burnout, Empowerment, Remuneration, Interpersonal Communication, Learning, Development, and Perception of Attitudes (Fuentes, 2015; Peña, Díaz, Chávez and Sánchez, 2016). The aim is to implement measures with a considerable impact on employees, thus improving their behaviors, attitudes, and performance.

Currently, Job Satisfaction is one of the main problems on which research on organizations has focused (Chiang, Gómez and Salazar, 2014). In a survey to measure Job Satisfaction in 447 individuals, it was possible to observe the elements that lead to satisfied workers. They mainly claimed that the most important element is to be in a solid organization that provides them with well-being (22%) (Merca2.0, 2016). An example of this is a Randstad study, which found that 80% of Mexican employees are satisfied with their work, position, and supervisor.

From the employees' perspective, organizational commitment allows for job stability. For researchers and human resources personnel, organizational commitment is important mainly because it directly impacts employee attitudes and behaviors (Betanzos and Paz, 2007). The Gallup report showed a worrisome reality: 79% of employees in every company surveyed are not committed to their work (Arias, 2019).

On the other hand, with the increasingly accelerated changes that the world is currently experiencing, another problem affecting the workforce is work stress or Burnout, since people who work up to 11 hours a day are more likely to suffer depression or a heart attack. Mexico currently ranks first in work stress worldwide, with excessive working hours and fewer vacation days per year compared to other countries, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2017). Work stress is commonly seen as the prelude to Burnout (Guardado, 2017).

Regarding this issue, employees in an organization present a higher risk of suffering from Burnout (Berjot, Altintas, Grebot, & Lesage, 2017) compared to those who are self-employed. Likewise, precarious employment, mainly associated with younger workers, is also associated with the development of Burnout (Canivet et al., 2017). In relation to an employment contract, those with several different types of contracts have been defined as a predictor of the occurrence of this syndrome (Berjot et al., 2017). Similarly, the salary drawn has also shown a negative relationship with it (Hai-Xia et al., 2015).

Given the above, another problem identified is that organizations in Mexico typically provide insufficient rewards to their members. Therefore, it can be said that Mexican workers perform their activities in a precarious environment, which limits their ability to identify with the organization and adapt themselves to the work role, decreasing their productivity and the achievement of Job Satisfaction (Calderón, Laca, Pando, & Pedroza, 2015).

According to an analysis of trends in Mexico's labor market for 2019, economic remuneration ceased to be the most important aspect for employees. Thus, it was expected that for 2019, employee empowerment, transparency in selective processes, and tech training, among other factors (Rodriguez, 2018), would become the most important aspects. An especially important aspect is Empowerment, which was studied decades ago by Kanter (1977; 1993, cited in Teixeira, Nogueira, and Alves, 2016, and Thomas and Velthouse, 1990) since it could impact the behavior and performance of the workforce.

When examining the empirical relationships of Structural Empowerment with other behavioral variables, it may be observed that, although some studies use the Psychological Empowerment variable as a mediator, the statistical analyses reviewed only consider such relationships partially and directly, not as what should be a complete mediation (Hair, Hult, Ringle, & Sarstedt, 2017). Therefore, this research seeks to validate and provide significant contributions to this topic.

Following the theoretical framework, the authors propose that Structural and Psychological Empowerment of employees and Remuneration in organizations have a positive and beneficial impact on Job Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment, and Burnout. Although studies have emerged of for-profit and welfare services companies (Segovia, 2014; Orgambídez-Ramos, Borrego-Alés, & Ruiz-Frutos, 2018), the teaching population segment, the subject of the present research, remains little studied (Barraza, 2008; Tabares-Díaz, Martínez-Daza, & Matabanchoy-Tulcán, 2020).

Given this situation, it was decided to conduct this study in a geographic area of high economic, organizational, commercial, educational, and cultural development in recent decades outside the metropolitan area of Monterrey. It was carried out in public institutions of higher secondary education in the citrus-growing region of the state of Nuevo León in Mexico (comprising the municipalities of Linares, Hualahuises, Montemorelos, Allende, Rayones, and General Terán) (HCNL, 2017).

In light of the literature reviewed and the aspects analyzed above, the following research question is posed: What is the relationship and impact of Structural Empowerment and Remuneration on Job Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment and Burnout, considering Psychological Empowerment in its mediating role in the case of teachers of public institutions of higher secondary education?

The general objective of the research is to measure the impact of Structural Empowerment and Remuneration on Job Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment, and Burnout and how they are related through the mediating variable Psychological Empowerment in the case of teachers of public institutions of higher secondary education in the Citrus Region of the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Subsequently, the analysis of the differences in impact between the segmentation gender, marital status, schooling and work status groups is proposed to determine whether the impacts are the same or different in all types of strata.

Theoretical framework

The study is based on literature analysis of the relationships between the proposed variables. The dependent variables whose relationships are studied in this study are Job Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment, and Burnout. The mediating variable is Psychological Empowerment. The independent variables are Structural Empowerment and Remuneration.

Job Satisfaction is one of the most fruitful and controversial constructs that make up organizational psychology (Salessi and Omar, 2017). It is defined as a positive and pleasurable emotional state resulting from the individual's personal appraisal of their work and the experience gained from it when considering their duties, supervisor, and the organization itself (Locke, 1976; Sarwar and Khalid, 2011). It has fluctuated from a positive feeling experienced by a subject when doing work they find interesting to a measurable judgment about the work itself (Salessi and Omar, 2016).

On the other hand, Organizational Commitment is the degree to which people identify and get involved with their organizations and are willing to continue working there. This description is a fundamental part of the classic definition and has been studied extensively (Keskes, Sallan, Simo, & Fernandez, 2018).

Another important issue in organizations is Burnout, a chronic stress response consisting of three fundamental factors: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low personal fulfillment (Maslach, 2003; Leiter and Maslach, 2017). For Maslach, Burnout is an emerging occupational disease often considered exclusive to care providers or service professionals. This is probably because, when the literature on this phenomenon is analyzed, it is found that most studies have used only samples of education and health professionals (Olivares, 2017).

Empowerment is a term adopted more than three decades ago in the labor context and is composed of two aspects: Structural Empowerment and Psychological Empowerment (De los Ríos and Blanco, 2012). Structural Empowerment is defined as a set of activities and practices carried out by the company's management that gives power, control, and authority to subordinates, granting them access to information, resources, support, and opportunities to learn and develop (Chen and Chen, 2008; Cheng and Boey, 2015; Kanter, 1993, cited in Teixeira, Nogueira and Alves, 2016). Analyzing the relationship of Structural Empowerment with other variables, most of it is with the Psychological Empowerment variable, using the latter as a mediator between one or more attitudinal variables of employees, such as Job Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment, or Burnout (Gong et al., 2017; Aggarwal, Dhaliwal, & Nobi, 2018).

O'Brien (2010) found statistically significant negative correlations between Structural Empowerment and Burnout (r = - 0.44, p < 0.01) and between Psychological Empowerment and Burnout (r = - 0.34, p < 0.01). She found a statistically significant positive correlation between Structural Empowerment and Psychological Empowerment (r =.59, p <.01).

Jáimez and Díaz (2011) analyzed the relationship between Empowerment (Structural and Psychological) and the three dimensions of Organizational Commitment. Their results showed that Structural Empowerment does indeed act as a predictor of Psychological Empowerment (B= 0.618; sig= 0.00; p< .001).

Furthermore, Remuneration is considered as the earnings received by the employee for having made his or her labor available to the employer (Rubio and Piatti, 2000). In the working relationship between the company and the collaborator, the compensation (salaries, raises, incentives, and social benefits) significantly influences the satisfaction of the collaborators (Torres-Flórez, 2019).

In Mexico, compensations are a system used to reward the employee and, in this way, create motivation and commitment to the organization. Some examples are base salary, bonuses, and vacation premiums (Benito, Beas, Mendoza, and Ochoa, 2020). A study conducted by Baez, Esquivel, Nunez, Rojas, and Zavaleta (2017) concluded that there is a significant relationship of job satisfaction and compensation variables with the turnover of some generations. Gavino (2020) states that Remuneration contributes to improvement, seeking efficiency and effectiveness through work performance. Its purpose is to respond with capacity and quality to the services provided by the workers.

Flores and Madero (2012) study internal pay fairness as a quality-of-work-life variable that predicts employees' intentions of remaining in the institution. Regarding salaries, Palomo, Galindo, and Cantú (2013) explain that, although they are less important than the other variables, this is justified in relation to employee job satisfaction in a service company, with the understanding that this factor would be more important regarding the concept of productivity and an incentive system.

Segovia (2014) proposes a second hypothesis that variable compensation is positively related to Psychological Empowerment. This hypothesis is typically rejected, although studies by several authors show that variable compensation or compensation in general have a positive and significant impact on both job satisfaction and productivity.

Psychological Empowerment is considered as the increase of intrinsic motivation in the performance of the function, based on four concepts: task meaning, competence, self-determination, and impact (Thomas and Velthouse, 1990). These concepts guide the individual's approach to the performance of their function, emphasizing that Psychological Empowerment is not a personality characteristic. Rather, it is a defined set of cognitions based on a certain work context (Spreitzer, 1995, cited in Orgambídez-Ramos, Moura, and Almeida, 2017). It is a mediating variable between Structural Empowerment and Remuneration on the one hand and Job Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment, and Burnout on the other (Montoya and Hayes, 2017; Hayes, 2018).

When reviewing the relationships in empirical studies of this variable, it was found that Rico-Picó et al. (2016) verified that there is a relationship between the levels of Empowerment and Satisfaction (r=.477, p=.007) and between Empowerment and Identification (r=.644, p=.000). However, there is no significant relationship between Identification and Satisfaction (r=.296, p=.106) (Rico-Picó et al., 2016).

Ríos et al. (2010) explained that Psychological Empowerment is a predictor of Organizational Commitment. However, when analyzing the individual impact of each of the dimensions of the latter, it is observed that only affective commitment directly impacts the four dimensions mentioned.

Jáimez and Diaz (2011) analyzed the relationship of Empowerment (Structural and Psychological) with the three dimensions of Organizational Commitment. Indeed, Structural Empowerment acts as a predictor of Psychological Empowerment. Structural Empowerment does not show a causal relationship with affective commitment, but it is a predictor of commitment to rules, though there is no such relationship with Psychological Empowerment.

Chiang, Valenzuela, and Lagos (2014) sought in their research to know the effect of Empowerment on Organizational Commitment in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) with a total of 219 workers in the Bío-Bío region in Chile. A predictive model of commitment based on empowerment variables was not observed in small companies.

As noted, the different research studies that support each of the variables of this research were reviewed. Based on the above, the following cause-and-effect model is proposed (Figure 1).

Source: created by the author

Figure 1 Proposed graphic model 

Whereas studies related to some variables in the literature reviewed show differences between the results when segmenting the sample by gender, age, type of contract, or studies (Canivet et al., 2017; Rodríguez-Villalobos, Benavides, Ornelas, and Jurado (2019), other investigations show no significant differences (Peralta and Moya 2017; Berjot, Altintas, Grebot, and Lesage, 2017; Chiang, Gómez, and Wackerling, 2016) and no studies were found that analyze the research model proposed in this work by segmentation groups. The analysis of both the total sample and by segmentation groups was carried out to determine in the latter whether the impacts are the same or different in all types of strata and to obtain more relevant findings.


The study was conducted with a quantitative approach and a correlational, explanatory, non-experimental, cross-sectional, or trans-sectional design. The relations shown in the graph above (direct and indirect effects) seek to prove which of these direct and indirect effects are generating significant impacts.

In the present work, the mediating effect of the Psychological Empowerment variable between the relations of the exogenous and endogenous latent variables of the model was evaluated. Mediation effects are classified as direct and indirect. Direct effects are the relations that link two constructs through a connector (βi). Indirect effects are the relations that involve a sequence of relations with at least one construct intervening (λi). The relations to be studied in the present investigation are shown in Table 1.

Table 1 Relation between variables to be studied in the investigation 

Relation between variables
Direct effects Indirect effects (EP mediator)
β1= EE→SL λ1 = EE→EP→SL
β2=EE→CO λ2 = EE→EP→CO
β4=REM→SL λ4 = REM→EP→SL
β5= REM→CO λ5 = REM→EP→CO

Note: EE, Structural Empowerment; REM, Remuneration; EP, Psychological Empowerment; SL, Job Satisfaction; CO, Organizational Commitment; BOUT, Burnout.

Source: created by the author

The study universe is the total number of teachers of higher secondary education institutions in the state of Nuevo León. According to data from the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR, 2017), there are 15,206 teachers of public institutions of higher secondary education in the State of Nuevo León, which is the general universe. Of these, 296 teachers are located in the Citrus Region, representing the study's subject population (UANL, 2018). According to the calculation, an "n" sample size of 167 elements was obtained. Considering that number, the proportion of teachers surveyed for each institution subject to study was determined.

The information was collected through physical questionnaires and self-administered by the teachers, trusting in their professionalism, responsibility, and commitment. Each high school was visited personally, authorization was obtained from the principals or personnel in charge, and the survey was conducted with the teachers who were available at the time or who agreed to answer the survey, considering the proportional number of elements per school in order to comply with the sample size.

Stratified sampling was carried out. A questionnaire was administered based on previously validated scales for each variable: The Conditions of Work Effectiveness Questionnaire (CWEQ-II) (O'Brien, 2010), The Psychological Empowerment Scale (O'Brien, 2010), the Job Satisfaction Questionnaire S20/23 (Meliá and Peiró, 1989; 1998), the Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (Meyer and Allen, 1997), the Maslach Burnout Inventory (Maslach and Jackson, 1981) and the surveys measuring the effectiveness of Remuneration on the employee in Madero's studies (2012; 2010). Although these questionnaires were used in other study contexts, the items for each variable were adapted to the context of this research.

In the first section of the instrument, which was integrated and adapted for this study, the items for each of the 6 variables were included using a 7-point Likert scale. The data were of the discrete quantitative type, where only whole number values are allowed.

In the second section of the instrument, demographic data were included to obtain the profiles of the participating teachers, as well as the labor data they handle in the institutions where they work. Once the questionnaire was integrated and adapted to the context of the study, the items that were not focused on the objective or scope of the teaching study on which the research was conducted were removed. Subsequently, 10 experts in the area were sent to help in the understanding and coherence of the items and to suggest some changes, which were made to obtain the final survey. Once again, the content validity process was carried out, obtaining the final instrument; and Cronbach's alpha index was calculated for each of the model's variables. Structural Empowerment (EE) and Remuneration (REM) were considered as independent variables; Psychological Empowerment (EP) as a mediating variable; and Job Satisfaction (SL), Organizational Commitment (CO), and Burnout (BOUT) as dependent variables.

In accordance with the sample size, the questionnaire was applied to teachers of the 13 public institutions of higher secondary education located in the context of the study, the Citrus Region of the state of Nuevo León, Mexico. This is a geographical area with a high level of economic, organizational, commercial, educational, and cultural development in recent decades. Located outside the metropolitan area of Monterrey, near the Sierra Madre Oriental, it has 253,467 inhabitants (INEGI, 2018). It surpasses the Northern and Southern regions of Nuevo León in the generation of formal sources of employment. This region is home to an entire agroindustry that processes raw materials (orange, grapefruit, lime, and various vegetables). It can employ up to 3,500 people per day, exporting more than 100,000 tons of products to various countries, such as the United States and Japan, with Mexico being one of the leading citrus producers worldwide (Mendoza, 2016; Pantoja and Flores, 2018).

Statistical analysis was performed based on Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) using SmartPLS 3.0 M3 (Hair, Hult, Ringle, & Sarstedt, 2017), as it allows for the measurement of relations between latent variables and the analysis of several dependency relations simultaneously (López, 2012). The sample was analyzed in the first instance with the proposed model and a sample size of 167 elements. Subsequently, it was analyzed by segmentation groups: gender (male and female), marital status (married and unmarried), schooling (undergraduate and graduate), as well as employment status (in another job or not), in order to obtain more relevant and accurate information from this population context. The results show the analysis of the significance of the direct and indirect effects among the exogenous and endogenous constructs.


From the data collection, Table 2 shows the characteristics of the surveyed teachers, and the information is statistically analyzed.

Table 2 Demographic analysis of the profile of the surveyed teachers 

Quantity % Quantity %
Sex Monthly income
Male 82 49.10 $0 - $4,999 40 23.95
Female 85 50.90 5,000 - 9,999 50 29.94
10,000- 14,999 42 25.15
Marital Status 15,000 - 19,999 17 10.18
Single 50 29.94 20,000 - 24, 999 04 02.40
Married 104 62.28 25,000 - 29,999 03 01.80
Widowed 0 00.00 30,000 - 34,999 06 03.59
Free Union 05 02.99 35,000 - 39,999 01 00.60
Divorced 07 04.19 More than 40,000 0 00.00
Other 0 00.00 Did not answer 04 02.40
Did not answer 01 00.60
Job Category Economic dependants
Temporary Teachers (By Contract) 76 45.51 0 37 22.16
1 33 19.76
Hourly-rate Teachers (Permanent contract) 33 19.76 2 41 24.55
Part-Time Teachers (Permanent contract) 12 07.19 3 32 19.16
Full-Time Teachers (Permanent contract) 43 25.75 4 15 08.98
Did not answer 03 01.80 5 07 04.19
Schooling 6 01 00.60
Elementary/Secondary 01 00.60 Did not answer 01 00.60
High School 04 02.40 Has another job
Technical Diploma 07 04.19 Yes 85 50.90
Bachelor's Degree 82 49.10 No 81 48.50
Bachelor's Degree 67 39.52 Did not answer 01 00.60
PhD 06 03.59
Did not answer 00 00.60
Average Standard deviation Median
Age 39.4578300 11.322600 38
Number of hours of class per semester 23.2638000 8.724754 20
Number of administrative hours 6.0000000 10.836900 0
Number of hours of academic placement 1.66666777 3.975252 0
Seniority within the educational institution 10.7807900 9.648599 7.25
Average number of students per group 35.748500 12.429910 35
Years of teaching experience 13.1676000 10.327480 10

Note: The hours of academic placement are determined by the number of hours that part-time or full-time teachers have for advisory work, academic support, or to devise activities or material for their classes in front of a group.

Source: created by the author

The results of the application of the measurement instrument to 167 teachers are presented,considering the responses of the items on a Likert scale and confirming the reliability of the instrument through Cronbach's alpha. First, a statistical analysis of the whole sample is performed with SEM.

Statistical analysis with structural equations

Statistical analyses of structural equations performed using SmartPLS 3.0 software are shown. The process consists of estimating 2 components of the structural equation modeling: a) evaluation of the measurement model and b) evaluation of the structural model. First, the importance of the indicators that form each latent variable is assessed utilizing loadings, which are recommended to be greater than 0.70 (Hair et al., 2017). Reviewing the results of the items considered in the measurement instrument, the items with loadings lower than 0.70 are eliminated, and the model is re-run to recalculate the factor loadings, presented in Table 3.

Table 3 Measurement analysis results: factor loadings (final items) 

Independent Variable Loading Independent Variable Loading Mediating Variable Loading
Structural Empowerment Remuneration Psychological Empowerment
EE2 0.798 REM1 0.896 EP1 0.85
EE3 0.834 REM2 0.898 EP2 0.896
EE4 0.77 REM3 0.915 EP3 0.749
EE5 0.799 REM4 0.815 EP4 0.809
EE7 0.755 REM5 0.857 EP5 0.857
EE8 0.757 REM6 0.84 EP8 0.716
EE10 0.789 EP10 0.793
EE11 0.744
EE12 0.813
EE13 0.861
Dependent Variable Loading Dependent Variable Loading Dependent Variable Loading
Job Satisfaction Organizational Commitment Burnout
SL1 0.779 CO1 0.915 BOUT6 0.759
SL2 0.726 CO2 0.833 BOUT7 0.746
SL3 0.701 CO3 0.903 BOUT10 0.833
SL4 0.832 CO4 0.83 BOUT11 0.832
SL5 0.845 CO5 0.883
SL6 0.808 CO7 0.86
SL7 0.747 CO8 0.915
SL8 0.800

Note: EE, Structural Empowerment; REM, Remuneration; EP, Psychological Empowerment; SL, Job Satisfaction; CO, Organizational Commitment; BOUT, Burnout.

In addition, the measurement model evaluates the construct validity and reliability of the instrument. The results of the composite reliability index exceed the value of 0.80 in all the research variables (Table 4). This index is considered a better approximation than Cronbach's alpha since it assumes that the parameters are accurate and applies only when the latent variable has reflective indicators (Hair et al., 2017). It should be noted that in the present research, each of the variables is analyzed by construct, not by its components or dimensions.

Table 4 Results of the item model measurement analysis: Reliability 

Variable Type Variable name Cronbach's alpha Composite reliability Average Variance Extracted (AVE)
Independent Structural Empowerment 0.934 0.944 0.629
Independent Remuneration 0.936 0.950 0.759
Mediating Psychological Empowerment 0.913 0.931 0.660
Dependent Job Satisfaction 0.908 0.926 0.610
Dependent Organizational Commitment 0.949 0.958 0.766
Dependent Burnout 0.803 0.872 0.630

Source: created by the author

The structural model (inner model) specifies the relations between the unobserved or latent variables. The trajectories or betas of the relations and the R² value are estimated, the latter representing the degree of explanation of the independent variables for the dependent variable (Table 5). The closer the R² value is to 1, the greater the variance explained by the model (Hair et al., 2017). The R² values of Psychological Empowerment, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment (Table 5) are within the parameters considered acceptable, except for Burnout, which means that there could be other factors generating an impact and causality in the latter. It would be advisable to continue with this study in the future to include them.

Table 5 Structural model: R² results 

Variable Type Variable Adjusted R²
Mediatin Psychological Empowerment 0.668 0.664
Dependent Job Satisfaction 0.892 0.890
Dependent Organizational Commitment 0.853 0.850
Dependent Burnout 0.178 0.163
Average 0.648 0.642

Source: created by the author

As SEM does not assume that the data are normally distributed, nonparametric bootstrapping analysis involving repeated random samples is applied (Hair et al., 2017). Table 6 details the results obtained in the structural model by observing the standardized betas, Student's t values, and the significance of the relations of the hypotheses.

Table 6 Path coefficients: Significance analysis of the direct and indirect effects of the research model 

Relation between variables Dire ct effec t Student 's t pvalu e (sig.) Significan ce (p<0.05) Indirect effect (mediati ng EP) Student 's t pvalu e (sig.) Significan ce (p<0.05)
β1= EE→SL 0.671 12.267 0.000 Yes λ1 = 0.206 4.057 0.000 Yes
β2=EE→CO 0.122 1.921 0.046 Yes λ2 = 0.624 10.324 0.000 Yes
β3=EE→BOUT -0.372 2.157 0.034 Yes λ3 = 0.026 0.177 0.859 No
β4=REM→SL 0.083 2.415 0.017 Yes λ4 = 0.029 1.953 0.051 No
β5= REM→CO 0.013 0.374 0.712 No λ5 = 0.089 2.075 0.038 Yes
β6=REM→BOUT -0.136 1.319 0.187 No λ6 = 0.004 0.150 0.881 No
β7=EE→EP 0.764 18.640 0.000 Yes
β8=REM→EP 0.108 2.121 0.037 Yes
β9=EP→SL 0.270 4.431 0.000 Yes
β10=EP→CO 0.816 13.325 0.000 Yes
β11=EP→BOUT 0.034 0.180 0.859 No

Note: EE, Structural Empowerment; REM, Remuneration; EP, Psychological Empowerment; SL, Job Satisfaction; CO, Organizational Commitment; BOUT, Burnout.

Source: created by the author

Statistical analysis by segmentation groups based on demographic variables

Subsequently, the analysis of the results is further stratified by gender (Table 7), marital status (Table 8), schooling (Table 9), and employment status (Table 10) in order to obtain more relevant and precise information on this population context and to contrast the hypotheses.

Table 7 Path coefficients: Significance analysis of direct and indirect effects by gender 

Male: 6 significant variables (n=82) Female: 7 significant variables (n=85)
Relation between variables Dire ct effec t Significan ce (p<0.05) Indire ct effect Significan ce (p<0.05) Dire ct effec t Significan ce (p<0.05) Indire ct effect Significan ce (p<0.05)
EE→SL 0.627 YES 0.267 YES 0.785 YES 0.092 NO
EE→CO 0.064 NO 0.713 YES 0.147 NO 0.552 YES
EE→BOUT -0.133 NO -0.007 NO -0.462 YES -0.126 NO
REM→SL 0.078 NO 0.019 NO 0.093 YES 0.021 NO
REM→CO 0.061 NO 0.051 NO -0.046 NO 0.126 YES
REM→BOUT -0.187 NO 0.000 NO -0.052 NO -0.029 NO
EE→EP 0.82 YES 0.701 YES
REM→EP 0.058 NO 0.159 NO
EP→SL 0.326 YES 0.131 NO
EP→CO 0.87 YES 0.788 YES
EP→BUOT -0.008 NO -0.18 NO

Note: EE, Structural Empowerment; REM, Remuneration; EP, Psychological Empowerment; SL, Job Satisfaction; CO, Organizational Commitment; BOUT, Burnout.

Source: created by the author

Table 8 Path coefficients: Significance analysis of direct and indirect effects by marital status 

Singles: 6 significant variables (n=50) Married: 11 significant variables (n=104)
Relation between variables Dire ct effec t Significan ce (p<0.05) Indire ct effect Significan ce (p<0.05) Dire ct effec t Significan ce (p<0.05) Indire ct effect Significan ce (p<0.05)
EE→SL 0.780 YES 0.149 YES 0.605 YES 0.072 YES
EE→CO 0.059 NO 0.655 YES 0.179 YES 0.074 YES
EE→BOUT -0.270 NO 0.067 NO -0.452 YES 0.181 NO
REM→SL 0.035 NO 0.020 NO 0.064 NO 0.023 YES
REM→CO -0.006 NO 0.089 NO 0.045 NO 0.048 YES
REM→BOUT -0.331 NO 0.009 NO -0.033 NO 0.039 NO
EE→EP 0.745 YES 0.775 YES
REM→EP 0.101 NO 0.138 YES
EP→SL 0.200 YES 0.347 YES
EP→CO 0.880 YES 0.759 YES
EP→BUOT 0.090 NO 0.04 NO

Note: EE, Structural Empowerment; REM, Remuneration; EP, Psychological Empowerment; SL, Job Satisfaction; CO, Organizational Commitment; BOUT, Burnout.

Source: created by the author

Table 9 Path coefficients: Significance analysis of direct and indirect effects by schooling 

Bachelor's degree: 8 significant variables (n=82) Postgraduate: 8 significant variables (n=73)
Relation between variables Dire ct effec t Significan ce (p<0.05) Indire ct effect Significan ce (p<0.05) Dire ct effec t Significan ce (p<0.05) Indire ct effect Significan ce (p<0.05)
EE→SL 0.645 YES 0.235 YES 0.702 NO 0.189 YES
EE→CO 0.005 NO 0.801 YES 0.196 NO 0.468 YES
EE→BOUT -0.573 YES 0.136 NO -0.228 NO -0.024 NO
REM→SL 0.089 NO 0.011 NO 0.042 NO 0.055 YES
REM→CO 0.017 NO 0.039 NO 0.020 NO 0.135 YES
REM→BOUT -0.098 NO 0.007 NO -0.048 NO -0.007 NO
EE→EP 0.844 YES 0.656 YES
REM→EP 0.041 NO 0.189 YES
EP→SL 0.278 YES 0.288 YES
EP→CO 0.949 YES 0.714 YES
EP→BUOT 0.161 YES -0.037 NO

Note: EE, Structural Empowerment; REM, Remuneration; EP, Psychological Empowerment; SL, Job Satisfaction; CO, Organizational Commitment; BOUT, Burnout.

Source: created by the author

Table 10 Path coefficients: Significance analysis of direct and indirect effects by employment status (having or not having another job) 

Has another job: 11 significant variables (n=85) No other job: 6 significant variables (n=81)
Relation between variables Dire ct effec t Significan ce (p<0.05) Indire ct effect Significan ce (p<0.05) Dire ct effec t Significan ce (p<0.05) Indire ct effect Significan ce (p<0.05)
EE→SL 0.594 YES 0.270 YES 0.751 SI 0.169 YES
EE→CO 0.137 NO 0.645 YES 0.074 NO 0.629 YES
EE→BOUT -0.413 YES -0.031 NO -0.421 NO 0.093 NO
REM→SL 0.115 YES 0.036 YES 0.014 NO 0.027 NO
REM→CO 0.014 NO 0.085 YES 0.008 NO 0.1 NO
REM→BOUT -0.259 YES -0.004 NO 0.084 NO 0.015 NO
EE→EP 0.794 YES 0.733 SI
REM→EP 0.105 NO 0.116 NO
EP→SL 0.34 YES 0.23 SI
EP→CO 0.812 YES 0.858 SI
EP→BUOT -0.039 NO 0.127 NO

Note: EE, Structural Empowerment; REM, Remuneration; EP, Psychological Empowerment; SL, Job Satisfaction; CO, Organizational Commitment; BOUT, Burnout.

Source: created by the author

Based on the results stratified by gender (Table 7), marital status (Table 8), schooling (Table 9) and employment status (Table 10), the results are analyzed comparatively by segmentation groups (Table 11).

Table 11 Analysis of variances explained by segmentation groups 

R2 Significant variables
Segmentation groups Demographic variable EP SL CO BOUT Direct Indirect Totals % of Effects
Gender Male 0.908 0.713 0.901 0.076 4 2 6 35%
Female 0.621 0.882 0.782 0.409 5 2 7 41%
Marital Status Single 0.66 0.944 0.854 0.23 4 2 6 35%
Married 0.692 0.879 0.867 0.186 7 4 11 65%
Schooling Bachelor's Degree 0.754 0.905 0.925 0.251 6 2 8 47%
Postgraduate 0.547 0.897 0.764 0.076 4 4 8 47%
Employment Status Has another job 0.693 0.884 0.872 0.339 7 4 11 65%
No other job 0.655 0.911 0.852 0.083 4 2 6 35%
General 0.668 0.892 0.853 0.178 8 3 11 65%

Note: EP, Psychological Empowerment; SL, Job Satisfaction; CO, Organizational Commitment; BOUT, Burnout.

Source: created by the author


The results show that the general research objective was met through a structural equation model. When analyzing the relations formulated by SEM using an interaction model (EP variable as mediator), acceptable R² values are obtained, and the dependent variables are largely explained by their predictors, except for the Burnout variable. In the first instance, the complete research model was analyzed with a sample size of 167 elements and subsequently based on segmentation groups by gender, marital status, schooling, and work status.

Results of the complete sample (n=167)

The results obtained through SEM support the positive and highly significant relationship and impact of Structural Empowerment on Job Satisfaction through Psychological Empowerment (β1+ λ1= 0.206; R2= 0.892, p=0.000). This is a theoretical contribution since no studies were found that analyzed this relation as such, but only research that studied the individual and direct relationship of Psychological Empowerment and Job Satisfaction (Rico-Picó et al., 2016).

Another notable result is the positive and significant relation between Remuneration and Organizational Commitment through Psychological Empowerment (β5+ λ5= 0.089; R2= 0.853, p=0. 038). Since there were no previous studies on this relation in this context, this result is an important contribution to the field (Ríos et al., 2010; Chiang, Valenzuela and Lagos, 2014).

It is observed that the results do not support the inverse relation between Structural Empowerment and Burnout through Psychological Empowerment (β3+ λ3= 0.026; R2= 0.178, p=0.859). This contradicts what was found by O'Brien (2010) in nurses employed in a medical center, whose results supported her hypothesis. Therefore, it is a significant contribution to this field of science and in the population segment studied in this research.

Similarly, the results do not support the relation nor the negative (inverse) impact of Remuneration on Burnout through Psychological Empowerment (β6+ λ6= 0.004; R2= 0.178, p=0. 881).

With the above, it is observed that there is a contribution by the mediating role of Psychological Empowerment between Structural Empowerment and Remunerations to Burnout, because by not presenting a significant relation, teachers do not consider Burnout as part of their daily routine.

According to the studies on Burnout by Villarruel et al. (2018), and which possibly explain the results for the relation of Structural Empowerment and Burnout through Psychological Empowerment, teachers in Mexico usually have low levels of Burnout. This may be due to their effective attitude of coping with stressors, triggers of the syndrome, or because they are not involved in high productivity, paying little attention to the demands of their teaching role. Additionally, individuals with high selfefficacy, optimism, and self-esteem are better able to cope with work demands because they believe they have control over their work environment, being more likely to solve problems proactively (Bakker and Costa, 2014), conditions that may have been present in the group of teachers in this research.

In the same line, another interpretation for the results with a negative (inverse) impact of Remuneration on Burnout through Psychological Empowerment (β6+ λ6= 0.004; R2= 0.178, p=0. 881) is related to the existence of teachers who perform their academic work without high aspirations and with minimal productivity, which leads to the absence of stressors in their institutional work (Villarruel. et al. 2018).

Results by segmentation groups (differences between groups)

When analyzing the results of the research model based on samples stratified by gender, marital status, schooling, and whether they have another job, it is observed that the results support the direct relation between Structural Empowerment and Job Satisfaction, with a greater impact on the female gender than on the male gender (∆β= 0.158); on the single than on the married (∆β=0.175); and on those who have another job than those who do not (∆β=0.157).

Regarding the impact of Structural Empowerment on Psychological Empowerment, we can confirm that it was greater in teachers who only have a bachelor's degree than in those who already have a postgraduate degree (∆β=0.188). The same happens in the relation between Psychological Empowerment and Organizational Commitment (∆β =0.235).

In Table 12, on the comparative significance of direct effects, the Totals column refers to the number of significant direct effects with respect to a total of 9 analyses (i.e., 2 categories for each of the 4 segmentation groups, plus the overall analysis) for each of the relations of the study variables.

Table 12 Path coefficients: Impact difference analysis by segmentation groups 

Relation General Male Female Absolute Difference Single Married Absolute Difference Bac elor' Degree Postgraduate Absolute Difference Has another job No other job Absolute Difference Totals
EE→SL 0.671 0.627 0.785 0.158 0.780 0.605 0.175 0.645 0.594 0.751 0.157 8/9
EE→CO 0.122 0.179 2/9
EE→BOUT -0.372 -0.462 -0.573 -0.413 4/9
REM→SL 0.083 0.093 0.115 3/9
REM→CO 0/9
REM→BOUT -0.259 1/9
EE→EP 0.764 0.82 0.701 0.119 0.745 0.775 0.03 0.844 0.656 0.188 0.794 0.733 0.061 9/9
REM→EP 0.108 0.138 0.189 3/9
EP→SL 0.270 0.326 0.200 0.347 0.147 0.278 0.288 0.010 0.34 0.23 0.110 8/9
EP→CO 0.816 0.87 0.788 0.082 0.880 0.759 0.121 0.949 0.714 0.235 0.812 0.858 0.046 9/9
EP→BUOT 0.161 1/9

Note: EE, Structural Empowerment; REM, Remuneration; EP, Psychological Empowerment; SL, Job Satisfaction; CO, Organizational Commitment; BOUT, Burnout.

Source: created by the author

Table 13 shows the analysis of impact differences by segmentation groups of the relations that were significant.

Table 13 Impact difference analysis by segmentation groups 

Segmentation Groups
Relations Male/Female Single/Married Undergraduate/Graduate With/without another job
EE→SL F>M S > C - S >C
EP→SL - C>S P>L C> S


The findings of this study show that teachers who receive support, information, resources, and opportunities from the organization for learning and development have higher levels of Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment, and those who are better paid are more committed to their work and the institution. This implies that the search for well-being, satisfaction, and commitment in the workplace is manifested by highly meaningful relations where the organization can stimulate their empowerment in the face of their educational and work needs.

This shows that those teachers to whom the organization provides Structural Empowerment and who have that intrinsic motivation in the form of Psychological Empowerment, are satisfied teachers. They feel involved and that their institutions value their work. These results will improve and increase the sense of belonging, which will translate into better teaching practice and better performance with their students, colleagues, and the organization.

In contrast, the results, by not presenting a significant relation and impact of Structural Empowerment and Remuneration with Burnout, show that the expected effects of intrinsic motivation are not generated in teachers through Psychological Empowerment, or that they do not generally consider Burnout to be part of their daily routine.

In academic terms, this research makes several contributions. Significant contributions are made in the Mexican context by the teachers to the variables investigated. The empirical results obtained lead to a valuable contribution to the knowledge of this topic for the country, population, and area selected for research.

Although some authors had analyzed some of the variables independently-such as Structural Empowerment with Psychological Empowerment, the latter found to be positively related to Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment, and inversely and negatively related to Burnout- presenting these relations separately, the complete mediation model in this study had not been the subject of other research, nor analyzed by means of segmentation groups, and significant contrasts were found.

As shown in the literature review, studying each of the variables as a construct is confirmed as a contribution to knowledge. By finding significant relations, it was shown that the independent variables are relevant for teachers to generate their intrinsic motivation through Psychological Empowerment as part of their daily routine, with a beneficial impact for the organization where they work.

Another contribution is the investigation of the proposed model in a different context, such as higher education institutions in Mexico. This field has been little studied empirically, and it is important to identify the degree of satisfaction and commitment of the teaching staff, as well as to seek strategies that contribute to increasing it, contributing to the development of more satisfied and productive teachers.

This shows the difference with what has been found in nursing professionals or manufacturing companies in previous research. Furthermore, according to Silva, García, González and Ratto (2015), it is important to study Burnout more thoroughly in the teaching profession since it interferes with the worker's health, affects the teacher-student relation, the organization and, therefore, society.

As part of the methodological rigor, an additional contribution is through the use of fully grounded structural equation modeling (SEM) when performing the empirical evaluation of the relations of the variables of the cause-and-effect model. The SmartPLS 3.0 M3 software by Hair et al. (2017) and the PLS technique according to the recommended criteria were used, both for the general sample and for the comparatively stratified samples, leading to more accurate results regarding the mediating role of Psychological Empowerment in such relations, and contrasting with the statistical methods used in the research found in the literature review.

This research is useful for educational organizations that need to adapt to the changes and reforms implemented in the educational system to increase productivity, competitiveness, and work performance by providing elements and strategies to keep teachers satisfied, committed, healthy, and motivated. It also contributes to implementing projects to have more motivated and committed teachers with a positive impact on the comprehensive education of students, thus increasing efficiency rates and minimizing failure and dropout rates on a semester or annual basis. In turn, this study has applications not only for the institutions under study, but also for other high schools in Nuevo León, institutions in other states of the country, agencies at other levels of the educational system and, finally, for organizations of any other type interested in what influences the behaviors and attitudes of their employees that lead to their Satisfaction, Commitment, and low or zero Burnout levels.

Regarding the analysis by segmentation groups, it can be seen that the impact of Structural Empowerment on Job Satisfaction, that is, the support with information, resources, opportunities, and development that is provided to teachers and that is reflected in their job satisfaction, is greater in females than in males, as well as in singles and those who have only one job. However, no differences were found in the impact of Structural Empowerment and Remuneration on Burnout, which indicates that institutional support and compensation do not influence higher or lower levels of Burnout. Moreover, the impact of Psychological Empowerment on Organizational Commitment is greater in the male gender, in single marital status, with a bachelor's degree and with only one job, that is, those teachers with a good level of intrinsic motivation are more committed to the institution.

It is important to consider each of this study's positive aspects and limits when designing future research. It is recommended to analyze the cause-and-effect model using a construct dimension scheme to find empirical findings relevant to organizations. Furthermore, it would be important to continue investigating the impact of Structural Empowerment and Remuneration on Burnout through Psychological Empowerment, as well as of the latter on Burnout, in other organizational contexts. It would also be useful to study other human capital factors that generate Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment, as well as lower levels of Burnout.

It should be noted that, at the culmination of this research in 2019, it came to light that after decades of study, the WHO recognized Burnout associated with mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion caused by work as a disease. However, its diagnosis would only come into effect as of 2022 (Forbes, 2019). On the other hand, in Mexico, according to NOM-035, as of October 23, 2019, every business or company with workers must be prepared to receive inspectors from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare or Accredited and Approved Inspection Units to carry out inspections in their workplaces. Therefore, its importance is consolidated for new lines of research (DOF, 2018).


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Peer Review under the responsibility of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Received: December 06, 2020; Accepted: June 28, 2022; Published: June 28, 2022

*Corresponding author. E-mail address: (R. Treviño Reyes).

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