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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Xi Wen Chan, Thomas Kalliath, Paula Brough, Michael O’Driscoll, Oi-Ling Siu and Carolyn Timms

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating roles of work and family demands and work-life balance on the relationship between self-efficacy (to regulate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating roles of work and family demands and work-life balance on the relationship between self-efficacy (to regulate work and life) and work engagement. Specifically, it seeks to explain how self-efficacy influences employees’ thought patterns and emotional reactions, which in turn enable them to cope with work and family demands, and ultimately achieve work-life balance and work engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modelling (SEM) of survey data obtained from a heterogeneous sample of 1,010 Australian employees is used to test the hypothesised chain mediation model.

Findings

The SEM results support the hypothesised model. Self-efficacy was significantly and negatively related to work and family demands, which in turn were negatively associated with work-life balance. Work-life balance, in turn, enabled employees to be engaged in their work.

Research limitations/implications

The findings support the key tenets of social cognitive theory and conservation of resources (COR) theory and demonstrate how self-efficacy can lead to work-life balance and engagement despite the presence of role demands. Study limitations (e.g. cross-sectional research design) and future research directions are discussed.

Originality/value

This study incorporates COR theory with social cognitive theory to improve understanding of how self-efficacy enhances work-life balance and work engagement through a self-fulfilling cycle in which employees achieve what they believe they can accomplish, and in the process, build other skills and personal resources to manage work and family challenges.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Michael P. O’Driscoll, Paula Brough and Thomas J. Kalliath

A survey of employed workers was conducted at two time periods to assess relationships between work‐family conflict, well‐being, and job and family satisfaction, along…

Abstract

A survey of employed workers was conducted at two time periods to assess relationships between work‐family conflict, well‐being, and job and family satisfaction, along with the role of social support from work colleagues and family members. Levels of work‐to‐family interference (WFI) were found to be uniformly higher than family‐to‐work interference (FWI). However, at each time period FWI showed more consistent negative relationships with well‐being and satisfaction, indicating that family‐to‐work interference may have a greater bearing on employees’ affective reactions. There were few cross‐time relationships between work‐family conflict and these reactions, which suggests that the association of work‐family conflict with well‐being and satisfaction may be time‐dependent. Although there was some evidence that social support from work colleagues moderated the relationship of WFI with psychological strain and family satisfaction, family support did not display a consistent moderator influence. Instead, both forms of support tended to exhibit direct (rather than moderator) relationships with the outcome variables. Implications of the findings for research and interventions are discussed.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 23 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Amanda Biggs and Paula Brough

The existence of gender differences in the experience of work‐family concflict has been subject to recent debate. Contemporary research generally suggests that men and…

Abstract

The existence of gender differences in the experience of work‐family concflict has been subject to recent debate. Contemporary research generally suggests that men and women experience work‐family conflict at comparative levels. However the majority of this research investigates direct relationships only, published investigations of the moderating influence of gender are scarce. The importance or salience of a role to an individual is also theorised to influence role perceptions, including conflict. However, role salience is commonly ignored in work‐family conflict research. The current research addresses these oversights by investigating the direct and indirect relationships between gender, work‐family conflict, role demands, and role salience. A total of 130 university students rated their perceptions of their university (work) and family roles. No significant direct relationships between gender and bi‐directional work‐family conflict were produced. However, gender significantly moderated the relationship between role salience and conflict; with females experiencing more conflict as their level of family role salience increased. The opposite results were produced for the male respondents. The implications of these findings for work‐family conflict research are discussed.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Carolyn Timms, Paula Brough and Deborah Graham

This research sought to identify groups of school employees who were more similar in their responses to burnout and engagement measures, for the purpose of exploring what…

Abstract

Purpose

This research sought to identify groups of school employees who were more similar in their responses to burnout and engagement measures, for the purpose of exploring what was similar in their school experiences. The profiles created in the present research enable a clearer appreciation of what is common to groups of school employees who are experiencing empowerment, ambivalence or distress in their work environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The current research used K‐means cluster analysis to identify school employees (n=953) who were most similar in regard to levels of burnout and engagement in order to achieve some sense of what was common at a group level.

Findings

This process identified five distinct respondent profiles using the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). Subsequent MANOVA analyses identified significant differences between cluster groups on the six areas of work‐life (control, workload, reward, community, fairness and values) and hours of work.

Practical implications

One of the most pressing problems faced by school administrators is that of identifying the most appropriate and strategic interventions to use with teaching staff in order to maintain motivation in the face of work pressures. The current research provides some practical insights into the experiences of school employees that may provide direction for such administrators.

Originality/value

By grouping respondents with similar attitudes towards their work this research has provided for more insight into the experiences to those respondents who do not fall at either end of the burnout‐engagement continuum. As such it provides for more effective intervention strategies with employees who are at‐risk.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 50 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Chang-qin Lu, Jing-Jing Lu, Dan-yang Du and Paula Brough

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the crossover effects of one partner’s work-family conflict (WFC) on the other partner’s family satisfaction, physical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the crossover effects of one partner’s work-family conflict (WFC) on the other partner’s family satisfaction, physical well-being, and mental well-being. The study tests the moderating effect of the opposite partner’s family identity salience within the crossover process in a Chinese context.

Design/methodology/approach

A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect matched data from 212 Chinese dual-earner couples. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was employed to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

The results showed that there were significantly negative crossover effects of husbands’ WFC on their wives’ family satisfaction, physical well-being, and mental well-being, and vice versa. The authors found that the wives’ family identity salience mitigated the crossover effects of the husbands’ WFC, but the husbands’ family identity did not moderate the crossover effect of the wives’ WFC.

Originality/value

This is the first study to investigate the crossover effects of WFC among dual-earner couples in China. Further, the study integrated family identity salience into the WFC crossover process between couples from the receiver’s view and provided evidence that partners differed in the ways they dealt with each other’s stress. This research advances scholarly discussions of the psychological crossover process and fills a key gap of considering complex role variables as moderators within this crossover process.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Carolyn Timms and Paula Brough

The purpose of this paper is to compare the explanatory power of two theoretical frameworks in regard to the work engagement of 312 Queensland teachers from non-government…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the explanatory power of two theoretical frameworks in regard to the work engagement of 312 Queensland teachers from non-government schools. The first theoretical model is the job demands-resources (JD-R) theory which suggests that work engagement will be evident if people report an abundance of resources in their work environment. The second perspective is self-determination theory (SDT) which suggests that work engagement will be evident if people are able to satisfy their personal psychological needs within the work environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The current research collected data from the same participants on two occasions with a six-month interval. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to test the research hypotheses both cross-sectionally and longitudinally.

Findings

It was found that the SDT provided the more compelling explanation for work engagement, in that career satisfaction (rather than job satisfaction) was a robust predictor of work engagement, although some evidence was also found for a contribution of the psycho-social work environment (supporting the JD-R model) in teachers’ work engagement or burnout. It was concluded that these two theoretical perspectives are compatible.

Practical implications

It is recommended that future studies of work engagement include some measurement of people's satisfaction that the career they have chosen fulfils their personal aspirations.

Social implications

The theories of SDT (work engagement as a fulfilment of psychological needs) and JD-R (work engagement as a balance of job demands and resources), while coming from different directions appear to be compatible, with each perspective enriching the other and affording administrators a more complete understanding of dynamics affecting the psychological health of teaching staff.

Originality/value

Previous work involving the JD-R and work engagement has focused on the immediate psycho-social environment of the workplace. The current research finds that career satisfaction predicts all dimensions of work engagement in cross-sectional analysis and over time. This supports insights from SDT and suggests that a more complete understanding of the dynamics of work engagement must include people's opportunity to redress psychological needs within the workplace.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 51 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2010

Michael P. O’Driscoll, Paula Brough, Carolyn Timms and Sukanlaya Sawang

The impact of technology on the health and well-being of workers has been a topic of interest since computers and computerized technology were widely introduced in the…

Abstract

The impact of technology on the health and well-being of workers has been a topic of interest since computers and computerized technology were widely introduced in the 1980s. Of recent concern is the impact of rapid technological advances on individuals’ psychological well-being, especially due to advancements in mobile technology that have increased many workers’ accessibility and expected productivity. In this chapter we focus on the associations between occupational stress and technology, especially behavioral and psychological reactions. We discuss some key facilitators and barriers associated with users’ acceptance of and engagement with information and communication technology. We conclude with recommendations for ongoing research on managing occupational health and well-being in conjunction with technological advancements.

Details

New Developments in Theoretical and Conceptual Approaches to Job Stress
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-713-4

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2011

Paula Brough, Greer Johnson, Suzie Drummond, Shannon Pennisi and Carolyn Timms

Advancing knowledge about effectively managing the ageing workforce and ensuring economic sustainability for a growing retired cohort is a recognised priority for…

Abstract

Purpose

Advancing knowledge about effectively managing the ageing workforce and ensuring economic sustainability for a growing retired cohort is a recognised priority for organisational health researchers, employers and governments. The purpose of this paper is to test social perceptions that older workers' cognitive performance and job attitudes compare adversely to their younger colleagues.

Design/methodology/approach

The research assessed samples of older and younger workers in objective tests of cognitive abilities and subjective job attitudes. An opportunity sampling method was employed to recruit a heterogeneous group of participants in Australia (n=172).

Findings

No significant differences in cognitive ability between the groups were identified; older workers were as cognitively skilled for their job as their younger colleagues. No significant group difference for perceptions of social support, job commitment, job satisfaction or turnover intentions was identified.

Research limitations/implications

The cross‐sectional research design adopted by this research prevented a more detailed examination of the data in terms of causal relationships. While the cognitive testing provided objective rather than subjective data and, therefore, is not as susceptible to response biases such as common method variance, the small sample who undertook the cognitive testing is acknowledged as a research limitation.

Social implications

This research has implications for the reduction in unemployment of older workers and directly addresses the social issues of an ageing labour force.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that stereotypical assumptions concerning inadequate performance and low job commitment commonly attributed to older workers are not in fact indicative of all ageing employees.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2010

Julian Barling received his PhD in 1979 from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and is currently associate dean with responsibility for the graduate and…

Abstract

Julian Barling received his PhD in 1979 from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and is currently associate dean with responsibility for the graduate and research programs. Julian is the author/editor of several books, including Employment, Stress and Family Functioning (1990, Wiley) and The Psychology of Workplace Safety (1999, APA). He is senior editor of the Handbook of Work Stress (2005, Sage) and the Handbook of Organizational Behavior (2008, Sage), and he is the author of well over 150 research articles and book chapters. Julian was formerly the editor of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. In 2002, Julian received the National Post's “Leaders in Business Education” award and Queen's University's Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision in 2008. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, SIOP, APS, and the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology. He is currently involved in research on leadership, work stress, and workplace aggression.

Details

New Developments in Theoretical and Conceptual Approaches to Job Stress
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-713-4

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Abstract

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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