Information and Communications Technology’s Impact on Work–life Interference: Cases of ‘Employee-friendly Organizations’

  • Henriett Primecz Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Sára Csillag Corvinus University of Budapest and Budapest Business School
  • Andrea Toarniczky Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Katalin Bácsi Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Csaba Kiss Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Roland Szilas Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Milassin Anda

Abstract

In our paper we examine the theoretical and practical impacts of information technology on work and work–life interference. Our paper is based on the results of the ‘Employee Friendly Workplace’ research project conducted in Hungary between 2007 and 2012, in which we explored the practices of ten family-friendly or best workplace prize-winning companies using qualitative research methods (individual interviews and focus groups). The main foci of our study are to explore the different perceptions, expectations and interpretations regarding employees’ work–life balance, how these are related to companies’ employee friendliness, how the employee-friendly practices are transformed by ICT (information and communication technology) .

Based on our research, the role of ICT is controversial: 24-hour online availability and the opportunity to work over the Internet with computers and mobile phones from anywhere can evidently support a healthy WLB and provide the possibility of a more flexible work schedule. At the same time, though, these can disturb the balance and invade private lives, creating a kind of ‘modern slavery’. In some cases employees become addicted, and the border between their work and their private life becomes blurred: they are willing to sacrifice their family time or hobby to work day and night, and in some cases this can become an expectation towards employees as well. We reach the final conclusion that technology solves several problems connected with work–family balance and obviously helps employees to find self-fulfilment in their work and family at the same time, while it creates new problems: overwork, obsession with work (and technology itself), mental and physical exhaustion and burnout. At the same time, work social support, independently from ICT, provides the greatest help for employees in need.

Author Biographies

Henriett Primecz, Corvinus University of Budapest

associate professor

Department of Organizational Behaviour

Institute of Management

Sára Csillag, Corvinus University of Budapest and Budapest Business School

assistant professor

Organanizational Behaviour Department

Institute of Management

Andrea Toarniczky, Corvinus University of Budapest

assistant professor

Organizational Behaviour Department

Institute of Management

Katalin Bácsi, Corvinus University of Budapest

assistant professor

Organizational Behaviour Department

Institute of Management

Csaba Kiss, Corvinus University of Budapest

assistant professor

Organizational behaviour Department

Institute of Management

Roland Szilas, Corvinus University of Budapest

assistant professor

Organizational Behaviour Department

Institute of Management

References

Aryee, S. (1992). Antecedents and outcomes of work-family conflict among married professional women: Evidence from Singapore. Human Relations, 45, 813-837.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/001872679204500804

Beigi, M., Ershadi, S. M., & Shirmohammadi, M. (2012). Work-family conflict and its antecedents among Iranian operating room personnel. Management
Research Review, 35(10), 958-973.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01409171211272688

Byron, K. (2005). A meta-analytic review of work-family conflict and its antecedents. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 67, 169-198.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2004.08.009

Carlson, D. S., & Kacmar, K. M. (2000). Work-family conflict in the organization: Do life role values make a difference? Journal of Management, 26(5), 1031-
1054.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/014920630002600502

Carlson, D. S., & Perrewé, P. L. (1999). The role of social support in the stressor-strain relationship: An examination of work-family conflict. Journal of Management, 25 (4), 513-540.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/014920639902500403

Carlson, D. S., Grzywacz, J. G., & Zivnuska, S. (2009). Is work-family balance more than conflict and enrichment? Human Relations, 62, 1459-1486.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018726709336500

Carlson, D. S., Kacmar, K. M., & Williams, L. J. (2000). Construction and initial validation of a multidimensional measure of work-family conflict. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 56, 249-276.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jvbe.1999.1713

Cifre, E., & Salanova, M. (2008). Work/non-work interface: A challenge to human resources management. In Ch. Wankel (Ed.), 21st-Century Management. Sage: New York.

Clark, S. C. (2001). Work cultures and work/family balance. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 58, 348-365.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jvbe.2000.1759

Crouter, A. C. (1984). Spillover from family to work: The neglected side of the work-family interface. Human Relations, 37, 425-442.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/001872678403700601

Dén-Nagy, I. (2014): A double-edged sword?: a critical evaluation of the mobile phone in creating work-life balance, New Technology, Work and Employment, 29:2, 193-211.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12031

Dén-Nagy, I. (2013): Az Infokommunikációs technológiák munka-magánélet egyensúly megteremtésében játszott szerepe – elméleti áttekintés, szocio.hu, 13/3.

Dubin, R. (1956). Industrial workers' world: A study in the central life interests of industrial workers. Social Problems, 4, 3-13.
Edwards, J. R., & Rothbard, N. P. (2000). Mechanisms linking work and family: Clarifying the relationship between work and family constructs. Academy of
Management Review, 25(1), 178-199.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMR.2000.2791609

Fábián, G. (2007). Kísérlet a nyelvtanárszerep fogalmának integrált megközelítésére. Veszprém: Pannon Egyetem Veszprém Interdiszciplináris Doktori Iskola
Neveléstudományi Doktori Program.

Frone, M. R., & Rice, R. W. (1987). Work-family conflict: The effect of job and family involvement. Journal of Occupational Behaviour, 8(1), 45-53.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/job.4030080106

Frone, M. R., Barnes, G. M., & Farrell, M. P. (1994). Relationship of work-family conflict to substance use among employed mothers: The role of negative affect.
Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56(4), 1019-1030.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/353610

Frone, M. R., Russell, M., & Cooper, M. L. (1992). Prevalence of work- family conflict: Are work and family boundaries asymmetrically permeable? Journal of
Organizational Behavior, 13, 723-729.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/job.4030130708

Frone, M. R., Yardley, J. K., & Markel, K. S. (1997). Developing and testing an integrative model of the work-family interface. Journal of Vocational Behavior,
50(2), 145-167.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jvbe.1996.1577

Fu, C. K., & Shaffer, M. A. (2001). The tug of work and family – Direct and indirect domain-specific determinants of work-family conflict. Personnel Review,
30(5), 502-522.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/EUM0000000005936

Geszler, N. (2015): Work-Family Conflict of Hungarian Manager Fathers, draft version of the final thesis, unpublished manuscript, Corvinus University of
Budapest.

Geurts, S. A., & Demerouti, E. (2003). Work/non-work interface: A review of theories and findings. In M. J. Schabracq, J. A. Winnubst, & C. L. Cooper (Eds.),
The Handbook of Work and Health Psychology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., West Sussex.

Gold, M., Mustafa, M. (2013): 'Work always wins': client colonization, time management and the anxietys of connected freelancers, New Technology, Work and
Employment, 28:3, 197-211.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12017

Golden, A., G., Geisler, C. (2007): Work-life boundary management and the personal digital assistant, Human Relations, 60: 519-551.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018726707076698

Goode, W. J. (1960). A theory of role strain. American Sociological Review, 25, 483-496.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2092933

Greenhaus, J. H., & Allen, T. D. (2006). Work-family balance: Exploration of a concept. Families and Work Conference, Provo, UT.

Greenhaus, J. H., & Beutell, N. J. (1985). Sources of conflict between work and family roles. The Academy of Management Review, 10(1), 76-88.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMR.1985.4277352

Greenhaus, J. H., Collins, K. M., & Shaw, J. D. (2003). The relation between work-family balance and quality of life. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 63, 510-531.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0001-8791(02)00042-8

Grzywacz, J. G., & Carlson, D. S. (2007). Conceptualizing work-family balance: Implications for practice and research. Advances in Developing Human
Resources, 9(4), 455-471.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1523422307305487

Grzywacz, J., & Marks, N. F. (1999). Reconceptualizing the work-family interface: An ecological perspective on the correlates of positive and negative spillover
between work and family. CDE Working Paper No. 99-03, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center for Demography and Ecology, Irvine, CA.

Gutek, B. A., Searle, S., & Klepa, L. (1991). Rational versus gender role explanations for work-family conflict. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76(4), 560-568.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.76.4.560

Haar, J. M., & Bardoel, A. (2008). Work-family positive spillover and employee outcomes Australia: The moderating effects of life satisfaction. The Australian
Centre for Research in Employment and Work. Victoria: Monash University.

Hanson, G. C., Hammer, L. B., & Colton, C. L. (2006). Development and validation of a multidimensional scale of perceived work-family positive spillover.
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 11(3), 249-265.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1076-8998.11.3.249

Hislop, D., Bosch_Sijtsema, P., Zimmermann, A. (2013): Introduction for special themed section: information and communication technologies and the work-life
boundary, New Technology, Work and Employment, 28:3, 177-178.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12015

House, J. S. (1981): Work stress and social support, Publisher: Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., Kahn, R., Wolfe, D., Quinn, R., Snoek, J., & Rosenthal,
R. (1964). Organizational Stress: Studies in Role Conflict and Ambiguity. Wiley: New York.

Kanungo, R. N. (1982). Work Alienation: An Integrative Approach. Praeger: New York.

Kaufman-Scarborough, C. (2006): Time Use and the Impact of Technology, Time and Society, 15(1): 57-80.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0961463X06061782

Király, G., Nagy, B., Gérig, Zs., Radó, M. Lovas, Y., Pálóczi B. (2015): Spillover: empirical utilization of the concept. An overview of the social scientific corpus
from 2004 to 2014, OTKA Report.

Kreiner, G. E., Hollensbe, E. C., Sheep, M. L. (2009): Balancing Borders and Bridges: Negotiation the Wok-Home Interface via Boundary Wok Tactics, Academy
of Management Journal, 52 (4): 704-730.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMJ.2009.43669916

Maertz, C. P. Jr., Boyar, S. L. (2011): Work-Family Conflict, Enrichment and Balance under "Levels" and "Episodes" Approaches, Journal of Management, 37:68-
98.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0149206310382455

Marks, S. R. (1977). Multiple roles and role strain: Some notes on human energy, time and commitment. American Sociological Review, 42(6), 921-936.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2094577

Michel, J. S., Mitchelson, J. K., Kotrba, L. M., LeBreton, J. M., & Baltes, B. B. (2009). A comparative test of work-family conflict models and critical examination of
work-family linkages. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 74, 199-218.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2008.12.005

Middleton, C. A. (2008): Do Mobile Technologies Enable Work-Life Balance? Dual Perspectives on BlackBerry Usage for Supplemental Work, in: Mobility and
Technology in the Workplace, ed.: Hislop, D., Rutledge, London.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203894354.ch15

Richardson, K, Benbunan-Fich, R. (2011): Examining the antecedents of work connectivity behavior during non-work time, Information and Organization, 21:
142-160.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.infoandorg.2011.06.002

Thomas, L. T., & Ganster, D. C. (1995). Impact of family-supportive work variables on work-family conflict and strain: A control perspective. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 80, 6-15.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.80.1.6

Sayah, S. (2013): Managing work-life boundaries with information and communication technologies: the case of independent contractors, New Technology, Work
and Employment, 28:3, 179-196.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12016

Sieber, S. D. (1974). Toward a theory of role accumulation. American Sociological Review, 39(4), 567-578.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2094422

Voydanoff, P. (2007). Work, Family, and Community - Exploring Interconnections. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.: New Jersey

Wajcman, J., Bittman, M., Brown, J. E. (2008): Families without Borders: Mobile Phones, Connectedness and Work-Home Divisions, Sociology, 42(4): 635-652.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038508091620
Published
2016-09-27
How to Cite
PRIMECZ, Henriett et al. Information and Communications Technology’s Impact on Work–life Interference: Cases of ‘Employee-friendly Organizations’. Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 3, sep. 2016. ISSN 2416-089X. Available at: <https://intersections.tk.mta.hu/index.php/intersections/article/view/158>. Date accessed: 15 nov. 2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.17356/ieejsp.v2i3.158.
Section
Work-life balance/imbalance: Individual, Organizational and Social Experiences