Home-to-work spillover and employability among university employees

Monique Veld (Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Béatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden (Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands) (Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands) (Kingston University, London, UK)
Judith H. Semeijn (Faculty of Management, Science and Technology, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands) (Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, Maastricht University, The Netherlands)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Publication date: 14 November 2016



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between positive and negative home-to-work spillover, i.e., home-to-work facilitation (HWF) and home-to-work conflict (HWC) with employability. Moreover, this study also examined whether the relationship between home-to-work spillover and employability varied between academic and support staff employees.


An on-line self-report questionnaire was distributed among academic (n=139) and support staff employees (n=215) working at a Dutch university for distance-learning education. Thoroughly validated measures of home-to-work spillover and employability were used. The employability measure consisted of five dimensions: occupational expertise, anticipation and optimization, personal flexibility, corporate sense, and balance. Hypotheses were tested using hierarchical multivariate regression analyses including interaction effects.


HWF was positively related to anticipation and optimization only, while HWC appeared to be negatively associated with all employability dimensions. As expected, the relationships between HWF and HWC on the one hand and the specific employability dimensions on the other hand were stronger for support staff employees than for academic staff employees.


This study has extended research on employability, by focusing on the home context of employees as a possible antecedent. So far, studies have largely ignored the home context of employees, when investigating employability outcomes. Another contribution was the focus on both positive (facilitation) and negative (conflict) spillover from home-to-work, whereas previous studies mainly focused on one type of spillover only. Finally, the authors had the unique opportunity to compare support staff and academic staff employees in one and the same study.



This study was part of a larger study commissioned by the Open University of the Netherlands and was aimed at improving the employability of academic and support staff employees. Béatrice van der Heijden (one of the co-authors) was involved in this research as a project manager.


Veld, M., van der Heijden, B. and Semeijn, J. (2016), "Home-to-work spillover and employability among university employees", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 31 No. 8, pp. 1280-1296. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-09-2015-0347

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