Conservation of resources in the organizational context: The reality of resources and their consequences

Stevan E. Hobfoll, Jonathon Halbesleben, Jean Pierre Neveu, Mina Westman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Over the past 30 years, conservation of resources (COR) theory has become one of the most widely cited theories in organizational psychology and organizational behavior. COR theory has been adopted across the many areas of the stress spectrum, from burnout to traumatic stress. Further attesting to the theory's centrality, COR theory is largely the basis for the more work-specific leading theory of organizational stress, namely the job demands-resources model. One of the major advantages of COR theory is its ability to make a wide range of specific hypotheses that are much broader than those offered by theories that focus on a single central resource, such as control, or that speak about resources in general. In this article, we will revisit the principles and corollaries of COR theory that inform those more specific hypotheses and will review research in organizational behavior that has relied on the theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-128
Number of pages26
JournalAnnual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior
StatePublished - 2018


  • burnout
  • crossover
  • engagement
  • resilience
  • resources
  • stress


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