Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

Family-Friendly Work Practices and Job Satisfaction and Organizational Performance: Moderating Effects of Managerial Support and Performance-Oriented Management

Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

Family-Friendly Work Practices and Job Satisfaction and Organizational Performance: Moderating Effects of Managerial Support and Performance-Oriented Management

Article excerpt

Introduction

Family-friendly work practices (FFWPs) have emerged as a new issue in human resource management due to increasing numbers of women and dual-career couples in the workforce. For example, according to the 2002 National Study of the Changing Workforce, the proportions of women and men in the workforce are now nearly equal, at 49% and 51%, respectively (Bond, Thompson, Galinsky, & Prottas, 2003). With regard to the U.S. federal workforce, the 2006 Central Personnel Data File (CPDF) indicated that the proportion of women in the federal workforce had been about 44.5% from 1994 to 2006. The shifting demographics of the workforce have intensified competing demands between work and home. More dual-career couples and changing expectations regarding work--life balance have encouraged employers to implement FFWPs designed to satisfy the needs of the changing workforce (Allen, 2001; Straub, 2011). FFWPs include flexible work schedules, telework, job sharing, dependent care services, and special maternity leave arrangements, which are all intended to facilitate positive behaviors and attitudes toward work by improving work-life balance and employee well-being (Beauregard & Henry, 2009; Durst, 1999; Wang & Walumbwa, 2007).

Many researchers have examined the impacts of FFWPs on work-related attitudes, turnover intention, and performance. For instance, FFWPs promote organizational attachment by increasing organizational commitment (e.g., Gallie, Felstead, & Green, 2001; Grover & Crooker, 1995; Thompson, Beauvais, & Lyness, 1999), organizational citizenship behavior (e.g., Lambert, 2000; Organ & Ryan, 1995), and job satisfaction (e.g., Ezra & Deckman, 1996; Kossek & Ozeki, 1998; Saltzstein, Ting, & Saltzstein, 2001). In addition, some research has found that FFWPs relate to a reduction in turnover intention (e.g., Durst, 1999; Kim & Wiggins, 2011; Meyer & Allen, 1997) and improve organizational performance (e.g., S. Y. Lee & Hong, 2011; Perry-Smith & Blum, 2000). (1)

However, other empirical studies of FFWPs have failed to demonstrate these effects. Christensen and Staines (1990) reviewed the literature on flextime and determined that there was no clear relationship between flextime and organizational commitment. Preece and Filbeck (1999) found that FFWPs had no impact on performance between family-friendly companies and similar, non-family-friendly companies. Sutton and Noe (2005) provided a review of family-friendly policy effectiveness and concluded that family-friendly policies had no relationship with turnover intention or increased productivity. Both Thompson and Prottas (2006) and Batt and Valcour (2003) found that FFWPs were only partially associated with a reduction in the reported turnover intention. Likewise, studies of the effectiveness of FFWPs have yielded inconclusive results. In light of these conflicting findings, more work is required that focuses on how FFWPs are implemented and what might interfere with the effect of FFWPs.

One of the reasons that the relationship between FFWPs and their intended outcome remains unclear is that previous studies have focused, primarily, on the direct effects between FFWPs and outcomes. These studies have ignored the moderating role played by management in the workplace (Ngo, Foley, & Loi, 2009). The managerial influence on the culture of the workplace can have a significant impact on the workers' ability to successfully balance work and family commitments. The lack of a supportive work culture and the existence of employee fears of negative career consequences associated with taking advantage of FFWPs means that merely offering such policies does not translate into employees who feel that the organization is concerned for their well-being (Allen, 2001; Andreassi & Thompson, 2008; Thompson, Jahn, Kopelman, & Prottas, 2004). For example, Lobel and Kossek (1996) contended that offering FFWPs does not address employee concerns unless these practices are also accompanied by a change in organizational culture regarding the appropriate interaction between work and family life. …

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