Do Longer Working Hours Blur Work–Family Boundaries?

In today’s dynamic world, majority of boundary-spanning professionals like sales are expected to work for longer hours, regularly interacting with clients and, in several instances, o7817055290_8609020d49_z.jpgperating across various time zones which ultimately results in blurring work–family boundaries.

Sales is a key boundary-spanning function, which has central accountability in the organization and that is the reason why companies make huge investments on their sales force. Sales professionals are largely seen affected due to imbalances among individual, family and professional goals, which finally results in burnout. In addition, their work-related commitments require them to counter multiple demands from co-workers and customers, thereby resulting in role stress.

Work–family conflict is seen as having two distinct domains: work negatively affecting family, that is, WFC and family negatively affecting work, that is, FWC. Both WFC and FWC are bidirectional in nature and have distinct patterns of correlates. WFC is found to be far more rampant than FWC. The probable reason for the same could be that work boundaries are less permeable as compared to family boundaries which result in work negatively affecting family more as compared to family affecting work.

An article from the Asia-Pacific Journal of Management Research and Innovation aims to measure the ratio of work to family conflict (WFC) and family to work conflict (FWC) and also identify various demographic variables affecting the conflicts.

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Abstract

In today’s dynamic world, majority of boundary-spanning professionals like sales are expected to work for longer hours, regularly interacting with clients and, in several instances, operating across various time zones which ultimately results in blurring work–family boundaries. The sample for the current study are sales employees as they are required to respond to various demands from colleagues, customers and from their respective families as well, which finally leads to conflict from both work and family. Of importance to the research is work–family construct measurement. The study first validated the Netemeyer, Boles and McMurrian (1996) work–family conflict scale in Indian context using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. The results of the data analysis are in line with the indications in the literature. In addition, the current study attempted to investigate the role of demographic variables on work to family conflict (WFC) as well as family to work conflict (FWC). The sample consisted of 330 sales employees working across different service and manufacturing sectors in Mumbai, India. Results indicated that age, marital status, hierarchy, hours worked, number and ages of children are significantly associated with both WFC and FWC. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Click here to read Work–Family Conflict in India: Construct Validation and Current Status for free from the journal Asia-Pacific Journal of Management Research and Innovation.

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Do Family-Friendly Programs Reduce Employee Turnover?

4329856959_d420346295_zHow can organization’s prevent employee turnover? The recent Public Personnel Management article “Does Satisfaction with Family-Friendly Programs Reduce Turnover? A Panel Study Conducted in U.S. Federal Agencies” from author James Gerard Caillier of University of Alabama suggests that the key to employee retention for an organization could be family-friendly programs. Programs like telework, alternative work schedules, child care subsidies, employee assistance programs, and other similar programs not only attract new talent, but help companies retain long-standing employees. The abstract for the paper:

This article sought to understand the association between employee satisfaction with several family-friendly programs and turnover in U.S. federal agencies. It also built on previous cross-sectional studies that examined the relationship between these benefits and both attitudes and outcomes. More specifically, this article used social exchange theory to develop hypotheses regarding the effect of telework, alternative work schedules, child care subsidies, elder care, employee assistance programs, and health and wellness programs on turnover. Furthermore, 4 years of panel data were Current Issue Coverobtained from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and FedScope to test the hypotheses. Consistent with social exchange theory, results from the balanced panel model indicate that satisfaction with family-friendly programs in general had a significant, negative effect on turnover. The results also indicate that telework, alternative work schedules, child care programs, and health and wellness programs reduced turnover. Telework, employee assistance programs, and health and wellness programs were significant at the .10 level. Elder care programs, on the other hand, were not found to have an impact on turnover. The implications the results have for theory and practice are discussed in the article.

You can read “Does Satisfaction with Family-Friendly Programs Reduce Turnover? A Panel Study Conducted in U.S. Federal Agencies” from Public Personnel Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

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* Family image attributed to bniice (CC)

Do the Benefits of Work Engagement Extend Beyond the Office?

3925183530_4902bb6ae9_zStudies of work engagement and the associated positive outcomes tend to focus on the effects of engagement exclusively in the work realm, but do the benefits of work engagement extend beyond the office? In a recent Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies article entitled “The Work/Nonwork Spillover: The Enrichment Role of Work Engagement,” authors Liat Eldor, Itzhak Harpaz, and Mina Westman expand the scope of research on the effects of work engagement.

The abstract for the paper:

This study examines whether work engagement enriches employees beyond the JLOcontribution of the domain of work, focusing on satisfaction with life and community involvement. Moreover, the ambivalence of scholars about the added value of the work engagement concept compared with similar work-related attitudes prompted us to assess the benefits that work engagement offers with regard to improving one’s satisfaction with life and community involvement compared with the benefits of other, similar work-related attitudes such as job involvement and job satisfaction. Furthermore, given the studies indicating the impact of sector of employment (public vs. business) on understanding the work/nonwork nexus, the current study also investigates the effect of the sector of employment on this enrichment process. Utilizing multilevel modeling analysis techniques on data from 554 employees in public and business sector organizations, we obtained results consistent with our hypotheses. Work engagement and employees’ outcomes beyond work had positive and significant relationships. Moreover, the relationship between work engagement and community involvement was stronger in public sector employees than in business sector employees. The implications for organizational theory, research, and practice are discussed as possible leverage points for creating conditions that promote engagement at work and beyond.

You can read “The Work/Nonwork Spillover: The Enrichment Role of Work Engagement” from Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Picnic image attributed to Benson Kua (CC)

Mindfulness Leads to Positive Outcomes at Work

3752743934_586c123f3c_zMindfulness training can help individuals increase their attention and awareness, but how can this present-centered mindset help in the workplace? The recent article published in Journal of Management entitled, “Contemplating Mindfulness at Work: An Integrative Review” from authors Darren J. Good, Christopher J. Lyddy, Theresa M. Glomb, Joyce E. Bono, Kirk Warren Brown, Michelle K. Duffy, Ruth A. Baer, Judson A. Brewer, and Sara W. Lazar delves into the applications of mindfulness at work. Their findings suggest that mindfulness training can have a broad, positive impact across key workplace outcomes. The abstract from the paper:

Mindfulness research activity is surging within organizational science. Emerging evidence across multiple fields suggests that mindfulness is fundamentally connected to many aspects of workplace functioning, but this knowledge base has not been systematically integrated to date. This review coalesces the burgeoning body of JOM 41(3)_Covers.inddmindfulness scholarship into a framework to guide mainstream management research investigating a broad range of constructs. The framework identifies how mindfulness influences attention, with downstream effects on functional domains of cognition, emotion, behavior, and physiology. Ultimately, these domains impact key workplace outcomes, including performance, relationships, and well-being. Consideration of the evidence on mindfulness at work stimulates important questions and challenges key assumptions within management science, generating an agenda for future research.

You can read “Contemplating Mindfulness at Work: An Integrative Review” from Journal of Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from  Journal of ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

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*Rock tower image credited to Natalie Lucier (CC)

 

The March Issue of Public Personnel Management is Now Online!

4202408267_63ce65b910_zThe March 2016 issue of Public Personnel Management is now available and is free to access for the next 30 days. The March issue features an editorial from Jared Llorens, the incoming editor of Public Personnel Management, as well as an introduction from guest editor Linda Sun for the second part of an article collection on Humanisitic Management and Development of New Cities and Towns. Among the articles included in this issue is a piece from author Jun Yi Hsieh, entitled “Spurious or True? An Exploration of Antecedents and Simultaneity of Job Performance and Job Satisfaction Across the Sectors,” which compares public, private, and nonprofit employees to see if the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance differs in each sector. The abstract from the paper:

The purpose of this study is to test differences and similarities of the public, private, ppm coverand nonprofit sector employees by examining the antecedents and simultaneity of job satisfaction and job performance. The results, assessed by seemingly unrelated regression, showed that job satisfaction positively affects job performance, or vice versa. Explanatory variables such as goal ambiguity, leader–member exchange, and so forth also exerted significant effects on the outcome variables across three sectors. This study extends to explain the similarity and difference of three sectors based on the criteria of the values in common, outcome variation, task characteristics, and sector contexts.

Click here to access the table of contents for the March 2016 issue of Public Personnel ManagementWant to know all about the latest from Public Personnel ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Coworkers image credited to Alger Cugun (CC)

Book Review: The Problem with Work

The Problem with Work

The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. Kathi Weeks; Durham: Duke University Press, 2011, 304 pp., $23.95 ISBN 978-0-8003-5112-2

Eugene P. Coyle of Eugene P. Coyle & Assoc. recently took the time to review the book in Review of Radical Political EconomicsFrom the review:

“Why do we work so long and so hard?” Professor Weeks opens this important and powerful book with questions about work that are not much addressed in political science or in mainstream economics. And she goes on to note that “. . . the fact that at present one must work to ‘earn aliving’ is taken as part of the natural order rather than a social convention” (3)…

RRPE 2015Weeks has a gift for summarizing political choices as aphorisms. In considering a politics of work as distinct from a politics of class, for example, she concludes “A politics of work, on the other hand, takes aim at an activity rather than an identity, and a central component of daily life rather than an outcome” (18). Later, in supporting her demands as preferable to what she acknowledges as impressive campaigns for a living wage, she says “. . . I am interested in demands that would not only advance concrete reforms of work but would also raise broader questions about the place of work in our lives and spark the imagination of a life no longer subordinate to it – demands that would serve as vectors rather than terminal points” (33). But I am getting ahead of the story.

You can read the full review from Review of Radical Political Economics by clicking here. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts and have all the research and reviews like this sent directly to your inbox!

Book Review: The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose

Paradox Generosity Book Cover

C. Smith, H. Davidson (2014). The paradox of generosity: Giving we receive, grasping we lose. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 261 pp., US$ 29.95 (hardcover).

Jim Alexander of Indiana University–Purdue University recently took the time to review the book in the December 2015 issue of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. From the review:

Smith and Davidson carefully walk the reader through empirical research which confirms that lives of well-being cause the practice of generosity and that generous practices cause an improved quality of life in those who consistently give of themselves. Despite the causal loop between one’s quality of life and the generous acts they perform, the authors find that most Americans choose not to consistently practice generosity, opting for the supposed comfort of cultural individualism. Indeed, most Americans do NVSQ_72ppiRGB_powerpointnot routinely give money, volunteer for causes of which they are passionate about, or regularly practice acts of neighborly generosity.

To investigate this trend, the authors move from impressive survey data into detailed qualitative interviews of ungenerous individuals. Far from uncompassionate, ungenerous Americans, across economic backgrounds, displayed lives of existential anxiety and clung to notions of self-preservation in the face of the unexpected. Coupled with the pressures of individualism, ungenerous Americans routinely understood practices of generosity as a low priority. Alternatively, Smith and Davidson found that generous individuals experience less existential anxiety and preoccupation with self-preservation because they tend to view their lives as full of abundance without an overriding need to seek more from the world.

You can read the full review from Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly by clicking here. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts and have all the research and reviews like this sent directly to your inbox!