The purpose of this paper is to extend the meaning maintenance model (MMM) by elucidating the meaning employees provide to both work and family during a furlough.
The sample consisted of 180 state government employees, who completed four surveys, starting at a time before a furlough was initiated through returning to work following a furlough. The authors used random coefficient modeling of a mixed-effects model for discontinuous change.
Findings suggest that a furlough is associated with increases in perceived psychological contract breach, an indication that the meaning of work is being threatened. Following the furlough, employees’ family identity salience significantly increased. Further, rumination about the furlough increased the shift in family identity salience.
This research tests the MMM in the context of furloughs and work-family implications. The results suggest that employees experience fluid compensation, a key facet of the MMM, during a furlough. Further, rumination of the experienced furlough can strengthen the fluid compensation process.
The implications for organizations implementing furloughs and various methods for implementing furloughs are discussed.
This research extends the MMM by empirically examining it in the context of furloughs and work-family implications. Further, it extends the MMM by examining the impact of rumination on the fluid compensation process.
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