Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Benefits of Family-Responsible Management in the Nigerian Environment - a Comparison of Two Breweries

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Benefits of Family-Responsible Management in the Nigerian Environment - a Comparison of Two Breweries

Article excerpt

This research uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to study organizations in the Nigerian environment. A brewery with a family-responsible culture expressed in work-life policies is compared with a competing brewery in which the work-family interface is disregarded, examining gender differences. Results indicate that a family-responsible culture with relevant policies, even in an employer-dominated market, is associated with a healthier, more committed work force with lower turnover. In the brewery with a family-responsible culture, women reported less time-based and stress-based work-family conflict and a lower level of turnover intentions than their male counterparts, suggesting that a supportive work culture means a much more substantial relief for women than for men. Men in the family-responsible brewery experienced significantly higher wellbeing than their counterparts in the other brewery.

INTRODUCTION

The work-family literature from Western countries reveals a growing awareness of people's need to balance their work and family lives and a corresponding effort by organizations to acknowledge this need and adopt measures to satisfy it to a greater extent.

This is an extremely important issue for organizations. When an employee finds it very difficult to combine work and family work will be affected. Lateness and absenteeism reduce actual working time while worry about neglected family members leads to loss of concentration at work. Given the choice, job applicants will prefer to work for an employer who will allow them to balance both life domains satisfactorily. The final outcome is a reduction in employees' quantity or quality of output and higher costs of errors and staff turnover. Organizations therefore cannot ignore the fact that employees need sufficient time for personal and family life.

There has been little research on a possible association between a supportive work-family culture manifested in any set of relevant policies on the one hand, and human resource outcomes, especially in developing countries. Moreover, most measures of work-family conflict are purely subjective and do not reflect spouses' perceptions of their employed partner's stress and lack of time for family life. From an academic perspective, the research reported here aims at filling these gaps, thereby contributing to the work-family and the cross-cultural literature. From a practical perspective, an additional objective is to provide easy-tounderstand empirical data to inform African employers.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

This research was conducted within the broad framework of Social Exchange Theory which, applied to the work context, proposes that employees are likely to perform better when they perceive that they are receiving social benefits they should reciprocate (Organ, 1977). This theory is useful to identify positive outcomes associated with perceived organizational support. According to Muse and Stamper (2007), in social exchange "the parties involved are willing to act now in hopes of future, unspecified reciprocation" (p. 518). This means that organizations that provide effective support can expect positive reactions from their staff. Higher support should logically lead to lower workfamily conflict as well as higher perceptions of organizational support (leading in turn to higher trust), both of which can be expected to result in lower psychological stress, higher commitment and lower turnover intentions.

Lambert (2000) applies Social Exchange Theory to the workfamily interface and suggests that work-family benefits make employees feel the duty to reciprocate with extra effort at high performance. Thus the lower work-to-family conflict resulting from a positive work-family culture and the availability of workfamily policies - associated with a high level of organizational support - can be expected to result in greater efforts by employees to ensure the success of the organization as well as a greater sense of loyalty. …

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