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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Josje Dikkers, Marloes van Engen and Claartje Vinkenburg

This study sets out to examine how gender and ambition are related to work hours and the utilization of other flexible work‐home arrangements, and how this use is – in…

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2867

Abstract

Purpose

This study sets out to examine how gender and ambition are related to work hours and the utilization of other flexible work‐home arrangements, and how this use is – in turn – associated with career‐related outcomes (i.e. job level, and career satisfaction).

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 212 Dutch working parents from different organizations participated in a questionnaire survey. Underpinned by an inter‐disciplinary theoretical framework, hypotheses were developed on the associations of gender, ambition, work‐home arrangements and career‐related outcomes.

Findings

It was found that ambitious parents made more use of flexible work‐home arrangements and worked more hours per week than less ambitious parents. This relationship was especially strong for mothers. Furthermore, parents' work hours and utilization of flexible arrangements were positively related to their job level and career satisfaction. Finally, the association of ambition with career‐related outcomes was mediated by work hours.

Practical implications

Employers should support their working parents in using flexible work‐home arrangements, thereby simultaneously assisting them in balancing work with care‐giving responsibilities, preventing them from losing their ambition, and promoting their career success.

Originality/value

The study made a pioneering effort to conceptualise and operationalise career‐related ambition. By showing that utilization of flexible work‐home arrangements is positively related to career success, the study also adds to the business case for these arrangements. Moreover, the study challenges the popular assumption that Dutch women's ambition vanishes into thin air once they become mothers.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 15 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

Marcia Brumit Kropf

This article describes findings from a series of recent Catalyst studies. Several of these studies investigated the use of flexible work arrangements in business…

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2741

Abstract

This article describes findings from a series of recent Catalyst studies. Several of these studies investigated the use of flexible work arrangements in business, exploring employee and employer attitudes towards, opinions about, and experiences with, these alternative arrangements. Together, findings from these studies help to delineate current approaches to flexibility initiatives in business, the increasing interest in these arrangements, the key benefits to business from the use of these alternatives, and the continuing barriers to the use of flexible arrangements. They also help to clarify effective strategies and practices for successful flexibility initiatives, along with critical skills needed by supervisors and employees using these arrangements. Detailed examples from two Catalyst Award‐winning organizations – The Bank of Montreal and Deloitte & Touche LLP – are included.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Lenka Formánková and Alena Křížková

The aim of this paper is to analyse the experience of female part-time professionals with employee and managerial positions with the utilisation of flexible work

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2886

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to analyse the experience of female part-time professionals with employee and managerial positions with the utilisation of flexible work arrangements in a corporate environment in the country with a full-time dominated work culture. The data represent a rare case study of the work environment in a Czech branch of one multinational company. This paper focusses on the position of female employees working part-time in professional and managerial positions. The reason for such an arrangement is their attempt to combine career and care for pre-school children. This paper evaluates the effects of flexible work policies in an environment where part-time work for female professionals is rarely available and, therefore, precious. In particular, this paper discusses conditions under which these arrangements are available and its impact on gender equality.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper represents a rare case-study of an organisational environment. The seven analysed interviews derive from a larger study on the corporate environment which included 35 interviews and a series of participatory observations. In the analysis, the following questions are discussed: What is the position of employees working within flexible working arrangements in a specific corporate culture? Which aspects of flexible working arrangements affect the professional recognition and evaluation of the employees? To what extent and how do flexible working arrangements affect employee satisfaction with their working and private lives?

Findings

The data reveal the diverse and often subtle forms of discrimination and exploitation of working mothers, who use the flexible working arrangement as a work-family reconciliation strategy. Female employees working with alternative working arrangements do not have equal bargaining power in comparison to other employees, regardless of whether they are professionals, and sometimes in managerial positions. At the formal level, the part-time professionals are restricted in pay and in access to the company benefits. In the informal relations within the workplace, their work lacks of sufficient recognition of colleagues and superiors. Overall, part-time work for female professionals and managers leads to an entrapment between the needs of their family and the expectations of their employer.

Practical implications

The research reveals the practical limitation in introducing policies the work-life reconciliation policies. The results show the need to focus on promoting better conditions for employees working part-time. Also, it shows that managerial and highly demanding professional positions can be executed on a part-time basis if the work environment is open towards accepting this arrangement. Moreover, the findings outline the possibilities of developing workplace practices in the Czech Republic in a woman-friendly direction.

Social implications

Specific legislative arrangements should be enacted, providing better protection for employees in non-standard employment. At the same time, the incentives for employers to enable part-time working arrangements should be provided.

Originality/value

The amount of research on female professionals working part-time or from home is rather limited in context of the post-communist countries. The paper discusses the “double” tokenism of the women working in the leadership positions and at the same time in flexible working arrangements in the full-time working culture.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 25 March 2020

Mastura Ab Wahab and Ekrem Tatoglu

This study aims to examine the impact of chasing productivity demands on worker well-being and firm performance in manufacturing firms in Malaysia. Flexible work

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1487

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the impact of chasing productivity demands on worker well-being and firm performance in manufacturing firms in Malaysia. Flexible work arrangements and human resources support are used as moderators to mitigate the adverse impacts associated with chasing productivity demands.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 213 workers from manufacturing firms through a survey questionnaire utilizing structural equation modeling.

Findings

The findings of the study show that flexible work arrangements play a significant role in moderating the relationship between chasing productivity demands and well-being, and between chasing productivity demands and firm performance. The study also shows that flexible work arrangements are important to buffer the adverse effects of chasing productivity demands on worker well-being. In addition, flexible work arrangements strengthen the positive effect of worker well-being on firm performance.

Research limitations/implications

This study highlights the importance of flexible work arrangements in overcoming the negative impact of the relationship between chasing productivity demands and worker well-being and strengthening the positive impact of the relationship between worker well-being and firm performance.

Originality/value

This study has extended the variable of chasing productivity demands in the existing literature on the job demands–job control model, specifically in manufacturing firms.

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2007

Gill Maxwell, Laura Rankine, Sheena Bell and Anna MacVicar

The aim of this article is to investigate the incidence and impact of FWAs in smaller businesses in Scotland, as an integral part of a recent European Social Fund project…

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11895

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to investigate the incidence and impact of FWAs in smaller businesses in Scotland, as an integral part of a recent European Social Fund project. From theoretical perspectives it discusses the influences on, and impacts of, flexible working arrangements. The focus is then placed on the smaller business sector as regards its distinctive features and flexible working arrangements.

Design/methodology/approach

The papers presents the findings from empirical work comprising a large‐scale survey of, and series of interviews with, owner‐managers of smaller businesses in Scotland.

Findings

Part‐time work, time off in lieu, staggered working hours and shift swapping are the main types of flexible work in smaller businesses. In many incidences flexible working arrangements are requested by employees, operated informally, and centred on the business needs. There is significant scope for greater uptake of flexible working arrangements in smaller businesses, especially in services sector businesses. Positive impacts of flexible work arrangements in recruitment and retention, enhanced employee relations, commitment and loyalty are found, together with disadvantages of operational problems and administrative burdens. It is proposed that the gap between the potential for, and current practice in, flexible working arrangements may be narrowed by targeting information and guidance on such arrangements specifically to the owner‐managers of smaller businesses.

Originality/value

The literature on flexible working mainly concentrates on large organisations. With the growing economic importance and distinguishing features of the smaller business sector in the UK, there is a need to focus as much on this sector as large organisations.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Eleftherios Giovanis

There is an increasing concern on the quality of jobs and productivity witnessed in the flexible employment arrangements. The purpose of this paper is to examine the…

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2866

Abstract

Purpose

There is an increasing concern on the quality of jobs and productivity witnessed in the flexible employment arrangements. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between various flexible employment arrangements and the workplace performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Home-based working, teleworking, flexible timing and compressed hours are the main employment types examined using the Workplace Employee Relations Survey (WERS) over the years 2004 and 2011 in Great Britain. The workplace performance is measured by two outcomes – the financial performance and labour productivity. First, the determinants of these flexible employment types are explored. Second, the ordinary least squares (OLS) method is followed. Third, an instrumental variable (IV) approach is applied to account for plausible endogeneity and to estimate the causal effects of flexible employment types on firm performance.

Findings

The findings show a significant and positive relationship between the flexible employment arrangements and the workplace performance. Education, age, wage, quality of relations between managers-employees, years of experience, the area of the market the workplace is operated and the competition are significant factors and are positively associated with the propensity of the implementation of flexible employment arrangements.

Social implications

The insights derived from the study can have various profound policy implications for employees, employers and the society overall, including family-work balance, coping with family demands, improving the firm performance, reducing traffic congestion and stress among others.

Originality/value

It is the first study that explores the relationship between flexible employment types and workplace performance using an IV approach. This allows us to estimate the causal effects of flexible employment types and the possible associated social implications.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Book part
Publication date: 30 June 2016

P. Matthijs Bal and Paul G. W. Jansen

As demographic changes impact the workplace, governments, organizations, and workers are looking for ways to sustain optimal working lives at higher ages. Workplace…

Abstract

As demographic changes impact the workplace, governments, organizations, and workers are looking for ways to sustain optimal working lives at higher ages. Workplace flexibility has been introduced as a potential way workers can have more satisfying working lives until their retirement ages. This chapter presents a critical review of the literature on workplace flexibility across the lifespan. It discusses how flexibility has been conceptualized across different disciplines, and postulates a definition that captures the joint roles of employer and employee in negotiating workplace flexibility that contributes to both employee and organization benefits. Moreover, it reviews how flexibility has been theorized and investigated in relation to older workers. The chapter ends with a future research agenda for advancing understanding of how workplace flexibility may enhance working experiences of older workers, and in particular focuses on the critical investigation of uses of flexibility in relation to older workers.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-263-7

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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2008

Margaret Lightbody

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the imagery of flexible work arrangements in professional accounting employment, as presented in the Australian…

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2046

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the imagery of flexible work arrangements in professional accounting employment, as presented in the Australian professional accounting journals from 2004‐2007.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of a critical analysis of discourse in articles in professional accounting journals.

Findings

While talk of “balance” and “flexibility” is widespread in the professional accounting journals in Australia, accountancy is portrayed as an environment dominated by a “work hard, play hard” culture. Flexible work arrangements are presented as acceptable work practices when they provide a means of facilitating this culture, rather than as an alternative method of working.

Research limitations/implications

The Australian accounting professional bodies continue to actively portray the long hours culture of professional work (and play) as the foundation of success, despite widespread concern about, first, the long‐term implications of such a lifestyle for employees’ personal wellbeing and, second, the lack of appeal of such working conditions for both existing and potential employees.

Practical implications

Despite the rhetoric of the need for flexible work practices to attract/retain accounting talent, accountants may find that there is limited support within the profession to facilitate career development while utilising such arrangements as part‐time work.

Originality/value

The imagery of the contemporary accounting work environment as presented in the professional journals has not been examined in the accounting literature. As these journals are a primary means by which the profession communicates with its members, they present a good basis for examining how the accounting profession wishes itself to be perceived.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2008

Terry O'Brien and Helen Hayden

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and analysis of current legislation and various schemes and practices that are available to employers and employees in…

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7149

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and analysis of current legislation and various schemes and practices that are available to employers and employees in relation to work life balance, family friendly work arrangements, leave entitlements and diverse modes of flexible work in Ireland. Focuses in particular on the Library and Information sector.

Design/methodology/approach

Introduces the concept of flexible working, followed by a review of relevant literature. Outlines what flexible work practices are, giving details of various types of flexible working, both statutory and non‐statutory (in Ireland). Then, discusses why flexible work practices have emerged and details background legislation and the issues that the introduction of flexible working raises. Draws conclusions about best practice in relation to the management of flexible work practices.

Findings

It is argued that commitment to work life balance is now firmly in the mainstream and is part of the political agenda in Ireland and the rest of the developed world. Flexibility in work practice is becoming an integral part of employment, particularly in public sector organisations, which are in effect, leading the way on this issue. Flexible work practices have many advantages for both employees and employers. They also create challenges, especially in terms of management. It is important to balance the requirements of the organisation with those of the employees. Key factors in the successful implementation of flexible working are training and communication.

Originality/value

The article provides a firm basis for further investigation and discussion.

Details

Library Management, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2021

Sourabh Kumar, Sankersan Sarkar and Bhawna Chahar

The growing demands of work and life have shifted the concept of work-life balance to work-life integration (WLI). The success of integration depends upon the flexibility…

Abstract

Purpose

The growing demands of work and life have shifted the concept of work-life balance to work-life integration (WLI). The success of integration depends upon the flexibility to perform the duties. This paper aims to explore the factors that affect WLI and the role of flexible work arrangements (FWAs) in the process of WLI.

Design/methodology/approach

Systematic literature review was used to explore the concept of WLI and FWAs. A bibliometric analysis was carried out with Bibexcel and VoSviewer.

Findings

This paper explained the organizational and personal factors that create the demand for WLI. The FWAs, perceived flexibility, technology and self-efficacy have important roles in WLI. The result of WLI can be enrichment or strain, depends upon how effectively the work-life domains are integrated.

Originality/value

This paper explores the work-life from both personal and organizational views. The findings of this paper will be useful to design the organizational policies and work arrangements that match the requirements of employees and organizations. This paper helps to develop the future research agenda of investigating the relations of WLI to performance, organizational policies and personal factors.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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