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Discussing Work-Life Fit: Factors that Predict Managerial Promotion of Flexible Work Arrangements

Work and Family in the New Economy

ISBN: 978-1-78441-630-0, eISBN: 978-1-78441-629-4

ISSN: 0277-2833

Publication date: 17 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Increased access to flexible work arrangements has the prospect of enhancing work-family reconciliation. Under consideration is extent that managers assumed lead roles in initiating discussions, the overall volume of discussions that occurred, and the outcomes of these discussions.

Methodology/approach

A panel analysis of 950 managers over one and a half years examines factors predicting involvement in a change initiative designed to expand flexible work arrangement use in a company in the financial activities supersector.

Findings

The overall volume of discussions, and tendencies for managers to initiate discussions, is positively predicted by managers’ prior experiences with flexibility, training to promote flexibility, and supervisory responsibilities. Managers were more inclined to promote flexibility when they viewed it as a supervisory responsibility and when they believed that it offered career rewards. An experiment demonstrated that learning of professional standards demonstrated outside of one’s own unit increased promotion of flexible work options. Discussions of flexibility led to many more approvals than denials of use, and also increased the likelihood of subsequent discussions occurring, indicating that promoting discussions of flexible work arrangements can be a path toward expanding use.

Originality

The study identifies specific factors that can lead managers to support exploration of flexible work arrangement use.

Keywords

Citation

Sweet, S., James, J.B. and Pitt-Catsouphes, M. (2015), "Discussing Work-Life Fit: Factors that Predict Managerial Promotion of Flexible Work Arrangements", Work and Family in the New Economy (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 301-330. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0277-283320150000026018

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited