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Work/Life Balance

By Ronnie, Jamie, Samantha and Carrie

Samantha Mischa

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of Work/Life Balance

By Ronny, Jamie, Samantha and Carrie Work/Life Balance Work/life conflict occurs when work/life balance cannot be obtained

Conflict can result from either
Work roles interfering with non-work roles OR
Non-work roles interfering with work roles What is Work/Life Conflict Working to Live or Living to Work? ‘Balanc[ing] work priorities with personal life so that neither is neglected’ (Centre for Creative Leadership, 2004) What is Work/Life (Family) Balance? ‘Satisfaction and good functioning at work and at home with a minimum of role conflict’ (Clark 2000) ‘The absence of unacceptable levels of conflict between work and non-work demands’ (Greenblatt 2002) Study A- Quantitative
Explored graduate attitudes towards work/life balance

Questioned graduates at different employment stages:
One month before employment commencement
Five months after commencement
Seventeen months after commencement
Study B- Qualitative
Explored factors affecting organizational commitment

Interviewed graduates with roughly three years experience Research Jamie
Carrie Roles Work/life balance perceived as increasingly important
Generation gap: WLB more important to younger generations

Organizational downsizing led to heightened workload and thus increased work/life conflict Working to Live or Living to Work? Work/Life Balance Early in the Career Stage
Jane Sturges & David Guest Work/life balance highly important to all studied groups, but marginally less so for the 3 year group

Interesting as graduates believed that work/life balance will increase in importance as they age

Work/life balance a key influencer of organisational commitment FINDINGS: The Extent to which Graduates Value and Achieve Work/Life Balance Strong evidence that working hours increase with tenure
Only 10% of employees working standard hours by the 1 year mark
Even more hours being worked at the 8 year mark
Interesting as graduates stated that while they are willing to sacrifice work/life balance for career advancement on the onset, it is a purely short-term objection

This leads to
Increased work/life conflict
Decreased rates of psychological contract fulfillment
Decreased organizational fulfillment

Work/life balance is an ideal strived for but rarely obtained

Psychological contract
'An individual beliefs, shaped by the organization, regarding terms of an implicit agreement between the individual and the organizational (Rousseau 1995) FINDINGS Hours worked
Positively correlated to work involvement
Negatively correlated to psychological contract fulfillment
Positively correlated to work/life conflict
Organizational support
Negatively correlated to hours worked
Positively correlated to psychological contract fulfillment
Positively correlated to organizational commitment
Psychological contract fulfillment
Negatively correlated to work/life conflict

Hours worked and psychological contract fulfilment are the most significant factors contributing to work/life conflict
Organizational and personal background factors does not significantly impact work/life conflict FINDINGS: Factors Influencing Perceptions of Work/Life Conflict Organizational experiences strongly associated with work/life conflict

However, only organizational support has a significant positive impact on organizational commitment

Interestingly, work/life conflict and perceived breaches of the psychological contract does NOT lower organizational commitment

Organizations need to be aware of the escalating level of perceived breaches of the psychological contract (expectations gap) with employee tenure, and the negative consequences associated, including organizational commitment FINDINGS: Impact of Work/Life Conflict on Organisational Commitment Work/life balance or work/family balance is positively related to quality of life and other indicators of well being however, less is known about the relationship of WLB to career outcomes for managers.

Examined “Whether “balanced” managers might be perceived as more or less likely to advance than less balanced, more work-focused managers in today’s high pressure work environments” Can a Manager have a Life and a Career? International and Multisource Perspectives on Work-Life Balance and Career Potential Advancement
Karen S.Lyness & Michael K.Judiesch WLB is defined as “Achieving satisfying experiences in all life domains” and to do so “requires personal resources such as energy, time, and commitment to be well distributed across domains”

Using self-ratings, peer ratings, and supervisor
ratings of 9 627 managers in 33 countries,
the authors examined within-source and
multisource relationships with multilevel analysis. Work-Life Balance & Career Advancement Greenhaus and Beutall (1995) argued that participating in one role, such as work, is more difficult for employees who participate in another role, such as family, resulting in work-family conflict

The scarcity perspective would predict that due to involvement with nonwork roles, the ‘balanced’ employee would have less time or other resources for work than would an employee who is more exclusively focused on work.

According to gender culture theory, organizations give promotions to employees who focus on task accomplishment and do not let family or personal matters interfere

Based on this theory, the relationships between perceptions of WLB and career advancement potential do not vary on the gender. It would not be more negative for male managers than their female counterparts. Negative Relationship
Work-Life Balance &
Career Advancement Potential According to the enrichment argument, involvement in multiple roles, implying a work-life balance can be beneficial by expanding an individual’s attention and energy such that benefits of multiple roles outweigh the stress or other costs associated with multiple roles.

The expansionist theory suggests that multiple roles are advantageous because performance in each role is enhanced by involvement in others.

In addition, it is possible that more competent managers are better at handling demands of multiple roles, including both work and nonwork activities, and thus are perceived as both more balanced and more likely to advance. Positive Relationship
Work-Life Balance &
Career Advancement Potential According to Gender Role Theory, men are traditionally expected to fulfill the breadwinner role and women the homemaker role

Deviations may result in negative evaluations

Question: They were interested in finding out whether the relationship between perceptions of WLB and career potential advancement might be moderated by the focal manager’s gender.
Lack of fit theory

Finding: The relationship between perceptions of work-life balance and career advancement potential would be more negative for female managers than for their male counterparts. Work-Life Balance
Career Advancement Potential &
Gender Role Theory “Beliefs about whether members’ biological sex should determine the roles that they play in their homes, business organizations and communities” (Emrich, Denmark & Den Hartog, 2004)

Low Gender Egalitarian Cultures

High Gender Egalitarian Cultures

Example: Sweden, high egalitarian culture

Results: Stronger balance-advancement potential relationships for male managers in low gender egalitarian cultures and stronger positive balance-advancement potential relationships for female managers in high gender egalitarian cultures. Gender Egalitarianism
Work-Life Balance &
Career Advancement Potential Work life balanced initiatives

Cascio (2000,p. 166) defines work–life balance programs as ‘‘any employer sponsored benefits or working conditions that help employees balance work and non-work demands’’

Universal effects
Working parents WORK-LIFE BALANCE: ONE SIZE FITS ALL? The impact of age in WLB
Priorities change as people age

Why age is important?
Employment preference change
Retain employees and gain their commitment Age in WLB The aim of the hypotheses
To capture and group key work-life influences as they relate to individual employees within each of the four identified career stages denotes by age.
Four identified career stages
Early career stage (18-29)
Developing career stage (30-39)
Consolidating career stage (40-49)
Pre-retirement career stage (50) HYPOTHESES Work-Life Balance will be negatively related to high job involvement

Job involvement defined as psychological identification with ones work

The degree to which the job situation is central to the employee and his or her identity

There is a positive relationship between job involvement and work-life balance

High work involvement and high family involvement usually related to the number of hours spent in work and family activities respectively.

Early Expectation
It will be true for individuals at the early and mid-career stage of their careers irrespective of their gender. Job Involvement Early career stage 18-29 years
Job involvement was negatively related to work-life balance

Developing career stage 30-39 years
Job involvement was interestingly found to have no correlation with WLB for this group

Consolidating career stage 40-49 years
Job involvement was found to demonstrate the strongest association with WLB

Pre-retirement career stage 50+ years
Job involvement found to have no correlation with WLB for this group Result Work-life balance will be positively related to high levels of perceived managerial support.

The willingness of managers to adjust job tasks, work schedules, and provide assistance that can help employees to manage their work and non-work demands better (Thomas & Ganster, 1995; Wilson, 1997). Perceived Managerial Support Senior management need to set the organisational tone around WLB by introduction and clear endorsement of WLB policies in the workplace.

Management should actually act as gatekeepers of WLB.

The level of managerial support may vary considerably as a direct result of their manager’s personal beliefs and attitude towards such programs. Early career stage/18–29 years
Perceived managerial support was positively related to work–life balance.

Developing career stage/30–39 years
Perceived managerial support was highly positively related with WLB.

Consolidating career stage/40–49 years
Perceived managerial support had some predictive qualities but not as strong as the job involvement.

Pre-retirement career stage/50+ years
Perceived managerial support was found to be significantly correlated with work–life balance. Result Availing of work–life balance initiatives will be perceived to be positively related to negative career consequences.

When an employee participates in work–life programmes which have the indirect effect of making the employee less visible within the organisation, that employee runs a significant risk of suffering career consequences as a result. Perceived Career Consequences Early career stage/18–29 years
Perceived career consequence was strongly negatively associated with work–life balance.

Developing career stage/30–39 years
Perceived career consequence was found to be highly negatively associated with WLB.

Consolidating career stage/40–49 years
Perceived career consequence demonstrated a significant positive relationship with WLB

Pre-retirement career stage/50+ years
Perceived career consequence demonstrating some relationship but was not as strong as the perceived managerial support. Result Across all four career stages denoted by age it would appear that the more vested an individual is in terms of their job the more less likely they are to achieve work–life balance.

It is clear from our analysis that all cohorts struggle to find and achieve their desired balance.

Perceived managerial support was found to be significant in term of predicting WLB for employees in the developing and pre-retirement career stages but less so for the early career and consolidating career stage.

Employees at the beginning of their careers perceive that availing of WLB policies signals to their employers that they are less committed to their career and therefore such a move is deemed as damaging going forward.

Consolidating and pre-retirement career stage employees are not concerned with the potential negative career consequences when compared to their younger colleagues. One Size Fits All? Conclusion
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