Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Work-Life Balance and Employees' Performance: The Mediating Role of Affective Commitment

Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Work-Life Balance and Employees' Performance: The Mediating Role of Affective Commitment

Article excerpt

Introduction

Individuals experience more conflict between work and personal life as they continue to pursue the quality of life that they need (Casper et al., 2011). Thus, successfully balancing work and family life is one of the major challenges facing current individual workers (Halpern, 2005).

Historically, work-life balance issues have been considered personal issues (Emslie & Hunt, 2009), and employers have just responded to their employees' needs by providing additional benefits such as on-site childcare service and paid maternity leave in the workplace. However, with environmental shifts and value changes of employees, employees' desire for work-life balance has increased and employers have begun to offer more active support of their employees' work-life balance (Thornthwaite, 2004). In its list of the 100 best companies to work for, Fortune magazine identifies organizations that make an effort to assist employees in managing the duties of work and family (Muse et al., 2008). Thus, organizational efforts for ensuring employees' work-life balance are needed and valued more than ever.

Many researchers have generally agreed on the important role of work-life balance as it is related with an individual's psychological well-being and overall sense of harmony in life, which is an indicator of balance between the workplace role and the role in family (Clark, 2000; Marks and MacDermid, 1996). Recent research shows that both employees and organizations benefit from successfully balanced work and family life (e.g., Greenhaus and Powell, 2006; Hammer et al., 2005). In family domains, when people experience a lack of work-life balance, this experience threatens key domains of their personal lives (Lachman and Boone-James, 1997); on the other hand, work-life balance enhances their well-being and family satisfaction (Grzywacz, 2000). In work domains, the absence of work-life balance causes poor performance and more absenteeism of employees (Frone et al., 1997), but balanced work and family life is associated with increased job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Cegarra-Leiva et al., 2012; Wayne et al., 2004). In other words, employees' work-life balance experiences deepen their role-related engagement, which is related to organizational performance improvement (Carlson et al., 2008).

Work-life balance in the workplace has become a more important issue as it tends to exhibit positive results such as low turnover, work engagement, organizational citizenship behavior, in-role performance, increased firm productivity, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment (Konrad and Mangel, 2000; Lambert, 2000; Shepard et al., 1996; Wang and Walumbwa, 2007). As emphasized by several researchers, managing work-life balance has become one of the most critical managerial strategies for ensuring employees' performance and organizational performance improvement.

Research Purpose and Problems

As was previously noted, the interest in and importance of work-life balance is increasing. Indeed, it is widely accepted by researchers that work-life balance is associated with desirable outcomes in both the workplace area and family area (e.g., Harrington and Ladge, 2009; Parkes and Langford, 2008). Despite this increased interest and these favorable outcomes of work-life balance, few studies have directly linked it with outcomes (Carlson et al., 2009; Frone, 2003; Grzywacz and Butler, 2005). Also, several researchers have pointed out that the effect of work-life balance on employees' attitudes and behaviors is still unclear and have called for more in-depth research studies to identify what types of performance are related with work-life balance (Casper and Buffardi, 2004; Kossek and Ozeki, 1998). The situation is no different in the Asian context and for the case of South Korea. Workers are experiencing an increase in their average income, resulting in a rise in their living standards, which consequently as caused a growth in the interest of work-life balance issues (Lim et al. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.