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Article

Mirjana Vuksan, Allison Williams and Valorie Crooks

Family friendly workplace policies (FFWPs) are designed to help employees co‐manage work and personal obligations. With the rising aging population and subsequent emphasis…

Abstract

Purpose

Family friendly workplace policies (FFWPs) are designed to help employees co‐manage work and personal obligations. With the rising aging population and subsequent emphasis on informal caregiving in Canada, Canadian employees will have to maintain paid work while serving as caregivers for family members at end‐of‐life (EoL). Thus, workplaces need to be prepared to accommodate these workers' requests. The objective of this paper is to explore, qualitatively, the workplace and employee characteristics that are most helpful to employees in EoL caregiving situations from an employer/human resources (HR) perspective so as to inform the development of FFWPs targeting this group.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on the findings of five focus group discussions undertaken in 2008 with Canadian employers and HR professionals in the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Findings

There are clear differences in how large and small workplaces accommodate employees who are providing EoL care. For instance, larger workplaces are more likely to have set policies around employee EoL care leaves and are unable to accommodate employees' needs that fall outside the scope of these policies; smaller workplaces are less likely to have standard policies for caregiver leaves and are more able to customize responses to leave requests. Employee characteristics such as length of time working for the employer and employee skill level also have a bearing on accommodating employee EoL care leave requests. The presence of HR infrastructure, which is more characteristically found in large workplaces, is also related to the availability of formal FFWPs.

Research limitations/implications

The fact that the data were derived from the employer/HR perspective and not those of actual employees is a limitation. The small sample size and convenience (non‐random) sampling limits the generalizability of the findings.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the limited literature on FFWPs and EoL caregiving accommodations. The findings of this study can directly inform workplace practice, both now and in the years to come, regarding how best to support workers who are also providing informal EoL care to family, friends, and others.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article

Aku Valtakoski and Katriina Järvi

The purpose of this paper is to study the antecedents of service innovation success in the knowledge-intensive business services context, especially why the participation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the antecedents of service innovation success in the knowledge-intensive business services context, especially why the participation of frontline employees and multiple organizational units is not enough for succeeding in knowledge-intensive service productization.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple-case study of two polar cases with longitudinal data, participant observation, and key personnel interviews.

Findings

Case evidence indicates that frontline employee participation and cross-unit collaboration are not sufficient antecedents for successful service productization. Instead, to facilitate employee knowledge sharing, managers need to align the project goals with the goals of participating employees, and promote trust among the project workgroup. Moreover, to enable effective cross-unit collaboration, managers need to facilitate the establishment of common vocabulary for productization work and services, and to resolve any emerging conflicts between participating organizational units.

Practical implications

The findings indicate the importance of enabling knowledge sharing and cross-unit collaboration for service productization. The identified antecedents translate to practical strategies for achieving these. The results also highlight the importance of bottom-up service innovation, and the management of service innovation on the group level.

Originality/value

The study indicates that common antecedents for successful service innovation may not be sufficient in the knowledge-intensive context, calling into question the assumptions about individual and group behavior in service innovation, and suggesting the importance of multi-level perspective on service innovation.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article

Robin Kramar

Why is it that in the current period of high unemployment and industrial restructuring, some employers are implementing policies which attempt to make it easier for…

Abstract

Why is it that in the current period of high unemployment and industrial restructuring, some employers are implementing policies which attempt to make it easier for employees to combine employment, domestic and family responsibilities? It would seem unnecessary in times of economic difficulty and adjustment for employers to accommodate the needs of employees, particularly when unemployment levels are high ‐ in the case of Australia unemployment exceeds 11%. This paradox, however, exists in many western industrialised countries.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Book part

Leslie B. Hammer, Ellen E. Kossek, Kristi Zimmerman and Rachel Daniels

The goal of this chapter is to present new ways of conceptualizing family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB), and to present a multilevel model reviewing variables…

Abstract

The goal of this chapter is to present new ways of conceptualizing family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB), and to present a multilevel model reviewing variables that are linked to this construct. We begin the chapter with an overview of the U.S. labor market's rising work–family demands, followed by our multilevel conceptual model of the pathways between FSSB and health, safety, work, and family outcomes for employees. A detailed discussion of the critical role of FSSB is then provided, followed by a discussion of the outcome relationships for employees. We then present our work on the conceptual development of FSSB, drawing from the literature and from focus group data. We end the chapter with a discussion of the practical implications related to our model and conceptual development of FSSB, as well as a discussion of implications for future research.

Details

Exploring the Work and Non-Work Interface
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1444-7

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Article

Jack G. Montgomery

Recounts three stories to illustrate the nature of the religious issues that can arise in the US workplace. Discusses the historical, legal and social influences that act…

Abstract

Recounts three stories to illustrate the nature of the religious issues that can arise in the US workplace. Discusses the historical, legal and social influences that act upon religious diversity. The rights and restrictions of employees are reviewed together with the ways in which library managers can respond effectively to the questions raised. Although based on the situation in the USA in 2002, the points raised are applicable in other countries.

Details

Library Management, vol. 23 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article

Susana Pasamar

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between the availability and the real use of work-life (WL) benefits by employees. Most research focuses on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between the availability and the real use of work-life (WL) benefits by employees. Most research focuses on adoption, and some studies have analysed the levels of use. However, it is yet to be explained why some firms offer formal WL benefits, which ultimately are not used by employees.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses developed here are tested using data from a sample of 146 Spanish private firms, which is very relevant because findings from research developed in Anglo-Saxon contexts cannot necessarily be extended elsewhere.

Findings

The results reveal that availability significantly influences the level of use of WL programmes. Both the proportion of women employees in the organization and the formalization of the WL balance culture moderate the relationship between availability and use.

Practical implications

These findings hold lessons for practitioners and researchers interested in WL balance and its actual diffusion among employees. Practitioners should consider WL balance in an unrestrictive way, thinking about different kinds of employees and not only women with caring responsibilities. The mere provision of benefits to a small part of the workforce does not guarantee any of the positive outcomes related to WL balance.

Originality/value

Aside from exploring the availability-use gap, this research was conducted in a non-Anglo-Saxon context.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article

Natalya Monaghan and Oluremi Bolanle Ayoko

Research on the physical work environment and employee territorial behavior in the field of organizational behavior is limited. In particular, while the prevalence of…

Abstract

Purpose

Research on the physical work environment and employee territorial behavior in the field of organizational behavior is limited. In particular, while the prevalence of territorial behaviors in organizations is not new, little is known about how the physical work environment (e.g. open-plan offices) may influence the enactment, interpretation and reactions to territoriality. The purpose of this paper is to explore the connection between the physical environment of work (e.g. open-plan office), employee territorial behaviors (including infringement) and affective environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by means of in-depth-interviews from 27 participants from two large Australian public organizations involved in recruitment, marketing, consulting and education.

Findings

Results revealed that employees’ personalization in the open-plan office is driven by the nature of their tasks, appointment, duration of time spent on their desk, level of adaptation to the open-plan office configurations and the proximity of desks to senior managers, hallways and passers-by. Additionally, affective environment has a critical effect on employee personalization and the enactment and perception of territoriality and infringements in open-plan offices. Additionally, the authors found that the affective environment is dynamic and that employees in open-plan offices experienced emotional contagion (positive and negative).

Research limitations/implications

Due to the demographic make-up of one of the participating organizations, less than a third of participants were male. While the data did not suggest any disparity in the territorial behaviors of male and female, future research should include an even representation of male and female participants. Similarly, the authors did not examine the impact of ethnicity and cultural background on employees’ territoriality. However, given that the workforce is increasingly becoming multicultural, future research should explore how ethnicity might impact the use of space, work processes and productivity in open-plan office. Additionally, scholars should continue to tease out the impact of affective environment (positive and negative) on team processes (e.g. conflict, communication, collaboration and the development of team mental models) in the open-plan office.

Practical implications

The results indicate some practical implications. Noise and distraction are indicated in the results. Therefore, human resource managers and organizational leaders should work with employees to develop some ground rules and norms to curb excessive noise in the open-plan office. Additionally, the authors found in the current study that the affective environment is dynamic and that employees in open-plan offices experienced emotional contagion (positive and negative). Managers should watch out for how individuals react to the prevailing emotions and moods in the open-plan office with the intention of diffusing negative emotions as quickly as possible, for example, by changing the topic under discussion in the open-plan office. The results speak to the need for more active collaboration and engagement between policy makers, workspace architects, designers and employees especially prior to the building of such workspaces.

Social implications

The results suggest that effective employee interactions in open-plan office may be enhanced by positive emotional contagion and office affective environment.

Originality/value

So far, little is known about the impact of the physical work context (e.g. open-plan offices) on the enactment, interpretation and reactions to territoriality. The current paper explores the connection between the physical environment of work (e.g. open-plan office), employee territorial behaviors (including infringement) and affective environment. The findings demonstrate for the first time and especially in an open-plan office that ownership and personalization of objects and workspaces are more likely to be driven by the amount of time spent at one’s desk, the nature of employees’ appointments and tasks. Additionally, the present research is one of the first to report on affective environment dynamism in the open-plan office.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Take Care
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-292-3

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Article

Alf H. Walle

The paper aims to show that human resource management professionals need to consider the uniqueness of Native, indigenous, and traditional people.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to show that human resource management professionals need to consider the uniqueness of Native, indigenous, and traditional people.

Design/methodology/approach

A number of key issues demanding attention are analyzed in a non‐exhaustive discussion of relevant topics.

Findings

The paper finds that organizations may lack the perspectives, insights, and skills they need to effectively respond to the needs and demands of employees/potential employees who are members of Native, indigenous, and traditional cultures.

Originality/value

This paper provides a timely discussion of this important topic in ways that have immediate practitioner application as well as suggesting additional research, dialogue, and thought.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Article

Kay Greasley, Paul Edwards, Denise Baker‐McClearn and Jeremy Dale

Many studies look at the effects of human resource (HR) initiatives. Yet very few consider why organisations adopt them in the first place. Health and wellbeing…

Abstract

Purpose

Many studies look at the effects of human resource (HR) initiatives. Yet very few consider why organisations adopt them in the first place. Health and wellbeing interventions offer a critical case because they offer apparent benefits for all. Assessing the process of engagement reveals variations in managerial commitment, which has implications for studies of “effects”. This paper seeks to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The study offered a free health intervention to organisations; this was separate from the research study, which aimed to assess the effects. A total of 86 organisations were approached, of which 53 indicated some interest in involvement. After further withdrawals and selection against criteria of size and sector, nine remained. The paper assesses the degree of engagement with the study, looking in detail at three organisations. The methods utilised included structured telephone interviews, qualitative interviews and observation.

Findings

The organisations underwent a rigorous selection procedure to ensure their full commitment to the study. On this basis it is expected that the participating organisations would be highly engaged. However, it became clear that there were considerable variations in how they engaged. This reflected the favourability of the organisational context, but also the enthusiasm and commitment of key actors.

Originality/value

Engaged organisations were a highly self‐selected group. Studies of effects of interventions may thus be systematically biased. The interventions studies here were also shaped by how they were put into practice; they were not fixed things whose effects could be understood independently of their implementation. The study was also able to make predictions of the subsequent effects of the interventions based on the process of implementation. The results of a follow‐up study to test these predictions will be reported in a further paper.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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