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Work-family balance through border theory lens: the case of a company “driving in the fast lane”

Work-family balance through border theory lens: the case of a company “driving in the fast lane” Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to seek to provide support and extend work-family Border Theory (BT) in order to investigate organizational and individual factors that determine the complex nature of work-family balance (WFB). Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative research was conducted in a company in Greece. In total, 20 in-depth interviews were conducted. Data analysis was guided by interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings – The key findings illustrate that strong borders protect the investigated, powerful, work domain and expand only to accommodate its’ needs. In congruence with BT, employees choose to be central participants in the powerful, highly impermeable and inflexibly bordered, work domain. The deeply entrenched organizational culture, as well as leaders’ behavior and leadership style, support the development of an array of positive work attitudes which boost central participation in the work domain. Due to the strongly bordered work setting, employees were found to choose segmentation as a WFB cope strategy; however, shifts in the participants’ life phase, as well as unfulfilled expectations, lead them to reset priorities and reevaluate their central participation in the dominant work domain. Practical implications – The present study has implications for HR practitioners. Communication and open discussions on work-family themes reveal issues that can positively contribute to WFB. Further to this, organizations need to consider individual differences when they deal with WFB issues and frame interventions to facilitate this process. Originality/value – This paper adds to current thinking in BT by illustrating that organizational culture, leadership and work attitudes have a strong impact on the nature of the work domain and its borders, as well as on employees’ central participation in the work setting and the attained WFB. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Work-family balance through border theory lens: the case of a company “driving in the fast lane”

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-7149
DOI
10.1108/EDI-05-2014-0038
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to seek to provide support and extend work-family Border Theory (BT) in order to investigate organizational and individual factors that determine the complex nature of work-family balance (WFB). Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative research was conducted in a company in Greece. In total, 20 in-depth interviews were conducted. Data analysis was guided by interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings – The key findings illustrate that strong borders protect the investigated, powerful, work domain and expand only to accommodate its’ needs. In congruence with BT, employees choose to be central participants in the powerful, highly impermeable and inflexibly bordered, work domain. The deeply entrenched organizational culture, as well as leaders’ behavior and leadership style, support the development of an array of positive work attitudes which boost central participation in the work domain. Due to the strongly bordered work setting, employees were found to choose segmentation as a WFB cope strategy; however, shifts in the participants’ life phase, as well as unfulfilled expectations, lead them to reset priorities and reevaluate their central participation in the dominant work domain. Practical implications – The present study has implications for HR practitioners. Communication and open discussions on work-family themes reveal issues that can positively contribute to WFB. Further to this, organizations need to consider individual differences when they deal with WFB issues and frame interventions to facilitate this process. Originality/value – This paper adds to current thinking in BT by illustrating that organizational culture, leadership and work attitudes have a strong impact on the nature of the work domain and its borders, as well as on employees’ central participation in the work setting and the attained WFB.

Journal

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 9, 2015

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