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What happened to the border? The role of mobile information technology devices on employees’ work-life balance

Toyin Ajibade Adisa (College of Business, Arts, and Social Sciences, Brunel University, London, UK)
Gbolahan Gbadamosi (Department of Leadership, Strategy and Organisation, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)
Ellis L.C. Osabutey (Department of International Management and Innovation, Business School, Middlesex University, London, UK)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 6 November 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

Mobile information technology devices (MITDs) are of special interest for researchers who seek to understand the role of these devices on employees’ work-life balance (WLB). The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of MITDs on employees’ WLB.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses semi-structured interviews to investigate the role of MITDs on employees’ WLB.

Findings

The findings underscore the important role of MITDs in terms of the attainment of flexibility (how, where, and when work is done), which is significant for achieving WLB. However, the use of MITDs has blurred the division between work and non-work domains. This has inadvertently lengthened employees’ working hours, has affected their family relationships, and affected their general health and well-being. The evidence suggests that MITDs have the potential to improve WLB but could also lead to work-life conflict if not properly managed.

Originality/value

The study calls for a re-examination of WLB policies and practices, specifically border theory, in order to ensure that MITDs can enhance productivity without inadvertently resulting in poor WLB.

Keywords

Citation

Adisa, T.A., Gbadamosi, G. and Osabutey, E.L.C. (2017), "What happened to the border? The role of mobile information technology devices on employees’ work-life balance", Personnel Review, Vol. 46 No. 8, pp. 1651-1671. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-08-2016-0222

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited