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Flexible working and engagement: the importance of choice

Deirdre Anderson (Deirdre Anderson and Clare Kelliher are both based at the Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)
Clare Kelliher (Deirdre Anderson and Clare Kelliher are both based at the Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 20 February 2009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to report findings from a major study into flexible working and to examine the link with employee engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted within seven case organizations using a mixed method of semi‐structured interviews and an electronic questionnaire.

Findings

The findings show that flexible working has an impact on employee engagement through a positive relationship with organizational commitment, job satisfaction and employee discretionary behavior.

Practical implications

Allowing employees a degree of choice over when, where and how much work they do has benefits for the organization. However, for these gains to be realized, support is needed for the implementation of a flexible working policy.

Originality/value

The study included both quantitative and qualitative data and examined the impact of flexible working from the point of view of managers and co‐workers of flexible workers, as well as those who worked flexibly themselves.

Keywords

Citation

Anderson, D. and Kelliher, C. (2009), "Flexible working and engagement: the importance of choice", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 13-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/14754390910937530

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited