INSEAD Executive Master Thesis 2016 - Can Interim Management protect against burnout?


As part of my Master's programme at INSEAD on change management (Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change) I was allowed to write a master's thesis. It deals with the fascinating topic "Are Interim Managers less at risk of burnout?".



Previous studies have shown that successful Interim Managers possess a number of predisposing character traits that distinguish them from managers who primarily work in permanent management positions.

In addition, society has recently become increasingly concerned about burnout in leadership positions. Research has shown that the likelihood of suffering from such symptoms is also due to a number of predisposing personality traits.

However, no attempt has yet been made in the literature to investigate the correlation between people who work as Interim Managers in a C-level position and the likelihood of this group of people suffering from burnout-related illnesses.

In a literature review, this paper compares the specific personality traits required for a successful Interim Manager with the traits that favour burnout, and theorises that some of the traits that characterise a successful Interim Manager may also protect against burnout syndromes.

This assumption is further scrutinised in a survey of 67 active Interim Managers from Switzerland.

The results of this research study confirmed the initial hypothesis that the specific personality traits that are essential for successful Interim Managers also provide adequate protection against the effects of stress-related burnout.


Click here for the complete master's thesis.

(and here to the INSEAD repository)