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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2009

Lori Foster Thompson and Kimberly R. Aspinwall

This study sets out to investigate the influence of four work/life benefits on job choice and to examine individual differences that moderate the effects of work/life

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12686

Abstract

Purpose

This study sets out to investigate the influence of four work/life benefits on job choice and to examine individual differences that moderate the effects of work/life benefits during recruitment.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants (n=125) completed an internet self‐efficacy survey measuring their sense of competence in being able to use the internet effectively. They also filled out a demographic questionnaire and a policy‐capturing survey which asked them to read numerous job descriptions and rate how likely it was that they would accept each job. The levels of four benefits (childcare, telecommuting, eldercare, flextime benefits) varied across job advertisements. Analyses examined the degree to which these four independent variables affected the willingness to accept a job offer.

Findings

Childcare benefits influenced the job choices of 58 per cent of the sample. This exceeded the influence of flextime (33 per cent), telecommuting (26 per cent), and eldercare benefits (33 per cent). Childcare attracted women more than men. Internet self‐efficacy predicted the attractiveness of telecommuting.

Research limitations/implications

It is important to consider the degree to which these findings generalize to non‐US job seekers, as well as applicants in more naturalistic settings.

Practical implications

Knowledge of influential work/life benefits (e.g. childcare) can enhance recruitment efforts in a competitive marketplace. Data on variables that moderate the attractiveness of work/life policies will enable organizations to further tailor their benefits to the types of applicants they seek.

Originality/value

In practice, work/life benefits are commonly offered in the hope of recruiting new employees. Yet, little is known about which benefits best attract new graduates. Moreover, research has only begun to examine individual differences that moderate the effect of work/life policies on recruitment outcomes. The present study addresses these gaps in the literature.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Elizabeth A. Hamilton, Judith R. Gordon and Karen S. Whelan‐Berry

The purpose of this research is to focus on understanding the worklife conflict of never‐married women without children.

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4701

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to focus on understanding the worklife conflict of never‐married women without children.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses survey data from two full‐service health care organizations and a financial services organization. Quantitative methodologies were used to address the study's research questions and hypotheses.

Findings

The findings show that never‐married women without children do experience conflict, specifically work‐to‐life conflict, and often at similar levels to that experienced by other groups of working women. The findings also suggest that worklife benefits typically provided by organizations are frequently regarded as less important and used less often by never‐married women without children than by other working women.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should increase the sample of never‐married women without children, explore the sources of support these women use in juggling life roles, and incorporate comparative analysis across age and occupation groups as well as with never‐married childless men.

Practical implications

The research finds that not all employees value or utilize the benefits frequently offered by organizations. Human resource departments cannot assume a “one size fits all” approach to benefit administration but must recognize the unique sources of worklife conflict for an array of employees and develop appropriate strategies to mitigate such conflict.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the worklife literature by focusing on a vastly understudied group of employees whose growing presence in the workforce necessitates further exploration. This research advocates expanding the definition of worklife as traditionally defined in the organizational behavior literature, allowing scholars to think more broadly about life roles other than spouse and parent that may have implications for conflict.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

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…

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1724

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
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Paula McDonald, Kerry Brown and Lisa Bradley

Organisational worklife policies and programs allow employees to have greater control over how, when and where they work but these policies are often under‐utilised…

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4160

Abstract

Purpose

Organisational worklife policies and programs allow employees to have greater control over how, when and where they work but these policies are often under‐utilised, particularly by men and career‐oriented employees. In what is largely an atheoretical area of literature, the paper aims to theoretically integrate the empirical literature related to the uptake of organisational worklife policies.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper links three related areas of literature: the associations between worklife policies and individual/organisational outcomes; explanations for the low uptake of worklife policies in many organisations; and preliminary studies which have explored organisational culture and its relationship to worklife policies. These literatures are integrated to develop a five‐dimensional construct, “organisational worklife culture”, for testing in future research.

Findings

It is suggested that the following five dimensions underlie this aspect of organisational life: lack of managerial support for worklife balance; perceptions of negative career consequences; organisational time expectations; the gendered nature of policy utilisation; and perceptions of unfairness by employees with limited non‐work responsibilities.

Practical implications

The development and validation of the organisational worklife culture construct requires further research and may result in specific organisational strategies and policies which address the barriers to worklife policy utilisation.

Originality/value

Based on existing empirical evidence, the paper suggests an original theoretical proposition: that organisational worklife culture is underpinned by five dimensions and explains much of the provision‐utilisation gap in worklife policy.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2004

Judith R. Gordon and Karen S. Whelan‐Berry

Women on average still have more responsibility for home, family life, and child care than men. Extensive research has focused on the needs of, and support required by…

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2684

Abstract

Women on average still have more responsibility for home, family life, and child care than men. Extensive research has focused on the needs of, and support required by, these working women, most often exploring related organizational programs and benefits. This paper attempts to remedy this deficiency by examining the roles women perceive their spouses or partners play in these families in sharing home and family responsibilities and supporting the careers of these women. It explores the differences in the roles that women in early, middle, and late life perceive their spouses or partners play. Differences exist in women's perceptions of how spouses or partners manage family finances, support the women's careers, contribute to household management, and provide interpersonal support. Specific roles and the resulting support are related to the life satisfaction, job satisfaction, and worklife balance of some but not all cohorts of the women surveyed.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2008

Sara J. Wilkinson

This paper aims to establish and illustrate the levels of awareness of worklife balance policies within the surveying profession in Australia and New Zealand. The culture…

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5312

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to establish and illustrate the levels of awareness of worklife balance policies within the surveying profession in Australia and New Zealand. The culture and characteristics of the Australian and New Zealand work force are to be identified. The key aspects included in worklife balance policies are to be illustrated and the perceived benefits for the surveying profession are to be noted. The paper seeks to posit that it is vital to comprehend the levels of awareness of worklife balance issues within the surveying profession first, so that benchmarking may occur over time within the profession and second, that comparisons may be drawn with other professions.

Design/methodology/approach

There is a growing body of research into worklife balance and the built environment professions. Using a questionnaire survey of the whole RICS qualified surveying profession in Australia and New Zealand, this paper identifies the awareness of worklife balance benefits within the surveying profession.

Findings

This research provides evidence that awareness of the issues and options is unevenly spread amongst professional surveyors in the region. With shortages of professionals and an active economy the pressures on existing employees looks set to rise and therefore this is an area which needs to be benchmarked and revisited with a view to adopting best practice throughout the sector. The implications are that employers ignore worklife balance issues at their peril.

Practical implications

There is much to be learned from an increased understanding of worklife balance issues for professionals in the surveying discipline. The consequences of an imbalance between work and personal or family life is emotional exhaustion, cynicism and burnout. The consequences for employers or surveying firms are reduced effectiveness and profitability and increased employee turnover or churn.

Originality/value

Leading on from Ellison's UK surveying profession study and Lingard and Francis's Australian civil engineering and construction industry studies, this paper seeks to raise awareness of the benefits of adopting worklife balance policies within surveying firms and to establish benchmarks of awareness within the Australian and New Zealand surveying profession.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2010

Rupashree Baral and Shivganesh Bhargava

This paper aims to examine the role of work‐family enrichment in the relationships between organizational interventions for worklife balance (job characteristics, work

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14086

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the role of work‐family enrichment in the relationships between organizational interventions for worklife balance (job characteristics, worklife benefits and policies, supervisor support and work‐family culture) and job outcomes (job satisfaction, affective commitment and organizational citizenship behaviour). It is hypothesized that organizational interventions for worklife balance will be positively related to job outcomes and work‐to‐family enrichment will mediate these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 216 managerial employees through a structured questionnaire from four organizations in India representing manufacturing and information technology (IT) sectors. Analysis was done using multiple regressions.

Findings

Job characteristics were positively related to all the measures of job outcomes. Supervisor support and work‐family culture were positively related to job satisfaction and affective commitment. No significant association was found between worklife benefits and policies (WLBPs) and any of the job outcome measures. Job characteristics and supervisor support were positively related to work‐to‐family enrichment. Work‐to‐family enrichment mediated the relationships between job characteristics and all job outcomes and between supervisor support and affective commitment.

Research limitations/implications

The correlational design prevents conclusions about causality.

Practical implications

The findings have implications for designing jobs, developing supportive work‐family culture and managing employee work‐family interface for maximizing individual and organizational outcomes.

Originality/value

The study reflected on the work‐family domain relationships in a novel socio‐cultural context and demonstrated the mediating role of work‐family enrichment in the relationships between organizational interventions for worklife balance and job outcomes.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2009

Janet Romaine and Amy B. Schmidt

The purpose of this study is to examine justice perceptions using potential employee conflict over provision of a worklife benefit, and to link the findings to existing…

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1765

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine justice perceptions using potential employee conflict over provision of a worklife benefit, and to link the findings to existing theory and research in organizational justice.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 208 undergraduates at a liberal arts college responded to a version of the scenario. There were six versions, representing varied organizational conditions, with hypotheses based on both theory and previous empirical work.

Findings

Students were asked whether they preferred equity (contribution), equality or need as the allocation norm to be used in the scenario. Under all organizational conditions, equity is favored over the other two norms, but some differences emerge. Organizational conditions that are less empowering and more stressful lead to higher preference for equality and need than when organizations are seen as treating employees well. In contrast with some earlier findings, women are more likely than men to prefer equity as the basis for the decision; but women's choices differ significantly between the long hours and family‐friendly scenarios, with a pronounced shift to need as the allocation norm in the long hours condition.

Originality/value

Although some researchers have examined organizational justice norms in relation to worklife benefits, little attention has been shown to the mechanisms involved in creating perceptions of unfairness relative to these benefits. The study demonstrates the importance of organizational context in determining when these benefits may be perceived as being fair, thereby averting the potential for conflict between employees.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2013

Susana Pasamar and Ramón Valle Cabrera

The purpose of this paper is to analyse perceptions of institutional pressures on employers to improve the work-life balance in challenging environments with difficult…

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5445

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse perceptions of institutional pressures on employers to improve the work-life balance in challenging environments with difficult financial and economic conditions and to classify organisations according to these perceptions.

Design/methodology/approach

Using survey data from 146 Spanish private firms in different industries, the cluster analysis was conducted.

Findings

The analysis clearly shows the existence of three different groups of companies according to their perception of coercive, mimetic and normative pressures, and the different characteristics of the groups. The perceptions of institutional pressures determine the stance of the company with regard to work-life balance.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the changing economic context, it seems important to analyse the existence of environmental pressures to encourage work-life balance.

Social implications

Spain still has a long way to go in the diffusion of work-life practices.

Originality/value

This paper explores the institutional pressures on employers to improve work-life balance in a crisis context, and in a non-Anglo-Saxon country, showing that companies pay attention to the dynamics of the environment in which the company operates, and do not only consider economic reasons.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Edward Hyatt and Erica Coslor

The purpose of this paper is to examine employee satisfaction with an employer-imposed compressed workweek (CWW) schedule within a US municipality (City).

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2092

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine employee satisfaction with an employer-imposed compressed workweek (CWW) schedule within a US municipality (City).

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilizes an employee survey (n=779) to test factors related to employee satisfaction with the CWW, a four-day, ten-hours/day workweek (4/10 schedule).

Findings

Employee satisfaction with the schedule is influenced by previous 4/10 pilot experience, work schedule preference, and happiness with the 4/10 schedule’s implementation. Additionally, sick leave figures and survey results regarding informal substitute work schedules suggest that worker fatigue may limit the overall organizational value of the 4/10 schedule.

Research limitations/implications

The study is opportunistic in nature and therefore constrained by the City’s HR Department concerns for survey length and respondent anonymity. This meant an inability to collect demographic data or to utilize validated scales.

Practical implications

Analysis suggests that the potential work-life benefits of flexible work schedules may not apply equally to employer-imposed vs employee-chosen compressed work schedules. Further, CWWs engender greater fatigue despite employee satisfaction, an issue managers should consider when weighing schedule costs and benefits.

Originality/value

The study highlights the importance of employee choice in conceptualizing flexibility and for capturing CWW benefits, namely: an initiative’s voluntary or involuntary nature should be considered when determining whether it is likely to be beneficial for employees.

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