Role Conflict and Burnout among Administrators in Higher Institutions of Education in Uganda.


In the world of higher education, attention often gravitates towards lecturers and professors, the individuals responsible for teaching and research. However, another crucial cohort operates behind the scenes: administrators. These individuals, including deans, directors, and academic registrars, are instrumental in the seamless operation of universities. Yet, the challenges they encounter, particularly in Uganda, are frequently overlooked.

A recent study by Faith Mbabazi, Wilson Eduan, and Mary Kagoire Ocheng from Uganda Christian University (UCU) delved into a significant challenge confronting administrators: role conflict and burnout. Published in the East African Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, this research investigates how these issues impact administrators in Ugandan universities.

Role conflict occurs when an individual’s job responsibilities clash, leading to stress. Conversely, burnout manifests as emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and decreased effectiveness at work due to prolonged stress. Understanding the interplay between these phenomena is crucial for ensuring the well-being of administrators and the smooth operation of universities.

The study employed surveys to inquire about the experiences of administrators from various Ugandan universities. It aimed to ascertain whether role conflict exacerbates burnout among these administrators.

The findings yielded unexpected insights. Initially, the study did not identify a direct correlation between role conflict and burnout. However, upon closer examination, a noteworthy factor emerged: age. Older administrators were more susceptible to experiencing emotional exhaustion due to role conflict.

This shows the importance of recognizing individual differences, particularly in age, in understanding how role conflict impacts burnout among administrators. This understanding holds significant implications for universities. It proves the need for university leaders to be attuned to the well-being of their staff, especially older administrators who may be more vulnerable to burnout resulting from role conflict.

Overall, this study sheds light on a critical aspect of university life in Uganda. By comprehending the relationship between role conflict and burnout, universities can foster healthier work environments for their administrators, ensuring the sustained effectiveness of their operations while prioritizing the well-being of their staff.

Compiled by: Irene Best Nyapendi

Edited by: Jimmy Siyasa, Head of Communications and Public Relations Department at UCU