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Effectively managing the work-family and work-life balance: an organisational role theory perspective.

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Wickham, M and Parker, M (2006) Effectively managing the work-family and work-life balance: an organisational role theory perspective. In: 2006 ACREW Conference, 1-4 July 2006, Prato, Italy.

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Abstract

The effective management of employees’ work-life balance requires organisations to recognise and account for the array of non-work roles that impact their working-lives (Estes, 2004; Higgins & Duxbury, 2005; Howard, D’Onofrio & Boles, 2004). Despite the literary attention given to the ‘work-life balance’ in recent years, however, contemporary authors still note the concept’s inadequacy both in terms of its definition and administration (Hyman & Summers, 2004; Smithson & Stokoe, 2005). In order to explore the definitional boundaries of contemporary ‘work-life balance’, this paper adopts an Organisational Role Theory (ORT) perspective. In particular, this paper will undertake an examination of ORT’s role-taking, role-consensus, and role-conflict assumptions, and present some strategies for preventing or remedying work-life imbalance issues in the workplace. The findings of this research indicate that the work-life balance’ literature needs to incorporate a distinction between ‘work-family’ and ‘work-life’ roles, and the manner in which each impacts on an individual’s working-life. It also suggests that in order to manage these discrete impacts effectively, managers need to incorporate the concepts of ‘the multi-faceted employee’, ‘employer facilitation’ and ‘compartmentalisation’ into their strategic management of the ‘work-life balance’.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Work-life balance, Organisational Role Theory, Strategic HRM.
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2010 01:00
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:08
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/9546
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