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Working hours and personal preference among Taiwanese employees

Luo Lu (Department of Business Administration, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 27 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this research is to explore effects of hours of work and the role of personal preference on job satisfaction, work‐to‐family conflict (WFC) and overall life satisfaction among Taiwanese employees.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from a nationwide survey in Taiwan were used. A total of 1,122 full‐time employees were surveyed using structured questionnaires.

Findings

It was found that working hours were negatively related to job satisfaction and overall life satisfaction, and positively related to WFC, after effects of demographical and job‐related factors were partialled out. More importantly, it was found that the “fit” between preferred and actual hours of work had an effect upon the above strain variables. Specifically, people who had a fit between preferred and actual hours of work reported lower levels of WFC and higher overall life satisfaction, compared to those who had a misfit in working hours.

Research limitations/implications

Using single‐item measures is a major limitation, though it is a common practice in large‐scale social surveys due to constraints on length and time. However, these results have both theoretical and practical implications. It is recommended that both the actual and individual's preference for hours of work should be taken into consideration in any attempt to improve employees' quality of work and quality of life in general.

Originality/value

The use of a national representative sample is a major thrust of the present study. This study also fills the gap left by the scarcity of research on working hours and strain from a Chinese perspective.

Keywords

Citation

Lu, L. (2011), "Working hours and personal preference among Taiwanese employees", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 244-256. https://doi.org/10.1108/17538351111172608

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited