Academic journal article Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

The Crossover of Work-Family Experiences among Supervisor-Subordinate Dyads in India

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

The Crossover of Work-Family Experiences among Supervisor-Subordinate Dyads in India

Article excerpt


Contemporary socio-demographic landscape, increased number of dual earner couples in the workforce, technological and market changes which demand 24/7 business hours and pressure on individuals for sufficient financial stability have squeezed the distinction between the work and family role domains of an individual. This has significant implications for work-family balance (Nair, 2013; Nayeem & Tripathy, 2012; Pandu, Balu & Poorani, 2013). Researchers have applied various frameworks to study the link between the two integral spheres of life, work and family. Among these, the conflict framework has occupied a respectable space in the literature of work-family balance/interaction. Conflict framework (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985) assumes that work and family are two different role domains. They have different sets of demands and responsibilities. Investment of more time and energy in one role will make it difficult to perform efficiently in the other, leading to WFC. Studies on WFC have extensively used spillover and crossover models which suggest that demands or strains from one role domain are carried over to the other role domain (Bakker & Demerouti, 2013; Van Emmerik & Peeters, 2009; Westman, 2001, 2005; Zhang, Foley & Yang, 2013). Spillover is a within-person across domains transmission of strain from one area of life to another whereas crossover involves transmission across individuals, where the demands and their consequent strain crossover between closely related individuals (e.g., from one partner to another partner in a dyad) (Westman, 2001).

Along with the conflict framework, 'role expansion' framework (Marks, 1977) has also received sufficient attention in the literature. The underlying assumption of role expansion framework is that work and family do not always interfere with each other; rather they may overshadow the negative effects and benefit of each other leading to work-family facilitation (WFF). Several synonymous terms are used to describe the positive interaction between work and family such as positive spillover, work-family facilitation, work-family synergy and work-family enrichment (Allis & O'Driscoll, 2008; Greenhaus & Powell, 2006; Masuda, McNall, Allen & Nicklin, 2012; Wayne, Musisca & Fleeson, 2004). WFF is defined as the extent to which an individual's engagement in one life domain (i.e., work/family) provides gains (i.e., developmental, affective, capital, or efficiency) which contribute to enhanced functioning of another life domain (i.e., family/work) (Carlson et al., 2006; Wayne, Grzywacz, Carlson & Kacmard, 2007). Impacts of WFF on individuals have been widely studied using the spillover model and application of cross over model in WFF research is scarce (Carlson et al., 2011).

Studies using crossover models majorly have been conducted in the Western context which provides impetus to examine the same in the socio-cultural context of India. Also, studies have mostly focused on crossover of stress, strain, burnout and engagement. Rarely attempts have been made to integrate both WFC and WFF in a research model and examine the crossover of the same in supervisor and subordinate dyads in a workplace setting. Given the rise of jobs involving team work (Carlson et al., 2011; Van Emmerik & Peeters, 2009), examination of crossover of work-family experience between supervisors and subordinates requires attention from researchers.

Work-Life Balance & Supervisor-subordinate Relationships

Research has considerably highlighted the importance of work-life balance for organizational and individual performance (Chawla & Sondhi, 2011). With the increase in WFC, there is decrease in work-life balance (Chawla & Sondhi, 2011) and job satisfaction (Baral, 2016) and increase in turnover intention and burnout levels (Nayeem & Tripathy, 2012). Indians, being a part of a collectivist culture, give high priority to fulfill their family and social responsibilities (Hofstede, 2001; Rathi & Barath, 2013). …

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