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The influence of organizational workplace cultures on employee work-life balance

Clouston, Teena J. 2012. The influence of organizational workplace cultures on employee work-life balance. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This thesis explores the influence of organizational workplace cultures on the lived experience of work-life balance for individual employees. It focuses on the experiences of a specific professional group called occupational therapists and samples these in two workplace organizations in the public sector; one healthcare and one social services setting. In-depth interviews were used to gather participants’ accounts. Findings suggested that the social services setting had more temporal flexibility, and a more supportive culture of work-life balance than healthcare, but that both organizations utilised power and performance to the advantage of organizational outcomes. Individual employees had little autonomy, control and choice over work-life balance and both organizations created and maintained a state of work-life imbalance as opposed to work-life balance for their staff. Both organizations used the individual occupational therapist’s time and energy as a human resource in the workplace, irrespective of the subsequent impacts on the individual’s personal and family well-being. There was a notable absence from participation in the community and wider social and natural environments in all accounts shared. This study posits that having time and energy for such activities in daily life would enhance well-being at multiple levels of significance and create a more balanced, sustainable and resilient model of work-life balance. Findings suggest that work-life balance is a co-produced phenomenon, with complex interconnected relationships and argues that viewing work-life balance as a whole rather than in its parts is necessary if we are to achieve an egalitarian model of work-life balance, valuing individual well-being and resilience and sustainability of human time and energy over organizational success. This study proposes that organizations need to adapt their cultures to develop a more egalitarian and employee-centred approach to work-life balance but identifies that cultural change at organizational levels alone would not be effective in challenging work-life imbalance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:08
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/33466

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