following chapter aims to give a background to previous research conducted
within the area of the research. It begins with the importance of work life
balance (WLB). This is followed by the definition of WLB. Furthermore, the
concept of WLB followed by the determinants of WLB and the consequences of work
life imbalance. Then literatures of Family to work conflict and work to family
conflict and the role of women in manage these conflicts by the help of WLB,
job autonomy role overload and WLB. Work life support arose in response to the
arrival of women into the workforce after World War II.
was previously raised by the working women during the 1960s and 1970s in the
UK. In 1990, US recognised the recognition of work-life balance as an essential
human resource management issue (Bird 2006). As per some studies, as paralleled
to man, women are more likely to face high degree of WLB issues (Benson et al.,
term WLB was invented in 1986 in response to the growing concerns by
individuals and organizations alike that work can impose upon the quality of
family life and inversely. As researches
suggest, there is no exact, monolithic definition of WLB. Generally, the
concept of WLB is premised on the fact that an individual life is obviously
divided into two distinct areas: work and life.
in the competitive era of today,
women have to battle hard to establish their individuality in the society, as
well as in professional life, it can be seen that work-life balance is the
major problem in the life of working women. (Pandey 2016).
women employee have difficulty in maintaining equilibrium between their family
life and work life (Hyman et al. 2004). According to Amstead (2015)
Professional women who are mothers face the challenge of meeting the loads of
both work and home; however, this is not simple to attain as most of the time
they do not have the time to fulfil each role. Women still take care of
domestic tasks. When they are incompetent to offer their care and time to their
family due to work they become upset, unhappy, disturbed and irritated. At time
they even tend to consider work and family as two detached aspects of life and
they do not like these two aspects that is work family to clash (burke 2002).
2.1 Definition of WLB
to Irfan et al., (2015) the theory of WLB has become a foothold in every
sector. This subject has become a topic of discussion amongst professional’s
academics and throughout recent decades. Cutterbacks (2005) simple definition
of WLB as the ability to allocate energy and time among different aspects of
work and life and having an awareness of this. How, when and where people work
through a right measure of switch and the family and work needs are satisfied by
the person is another viewpoint of the definition of WLB. Friends, family,
work, self and health are 5 factors which Byrne (2005) are related to WLB and
aspects an individual will have to juggle at any point throughout their life.
et al. (2003) defined work-life balance as the ‘extent to which an individual
is correspondingly engaged in and equally satisfied with their work role and
family role’. WLB consists of three components: (1) time balance, (2)
psychological involvement balance and (3) satisfaction balance. Firstly, Time
balance refers to equivalent time being given to both work and family roles;
involvement balance refers to equal levels of psychological involvement in both
work and family roles; and lastly, satisfaction balance states to equal levels
of fulfilment in both work and family parts. All these components should be
measured when studying work-life balance.
to Greenhaus et al., (2010), Work-life
balance defines an individual’s assessment of their satisfaction with their
work and life roles assumed their priorities at one point in time.
However, there are two vital
assumptions that are relevant for how individuals define and evaluate WLB. First, implied in the idea of “balance” is the acceptance that
individuals should try to accomplish the two spheres equally (botero, 2012).
Whereas Bielby et al. (1989) argues that, this assumption is
inappropriate because individuals differ in the extent to which they prioritize
work and family roles, according to, Helmle, (2010) the second assumption is
the belief that work and family lives are and should be detached and
independent of one another.
Maclnnes et al. ( 2006) states
that WLB is generally related to working time, flexibility,
employment, well-being, social security, family, demographic changes,
consumption, leisure time and so on. Correspondingly, Byrne (2005) describes WLB in such a broad sense
as ‘juggling five aspects of our lives at any one point in time: work, family,
friends, health and self’. On the
contrary, Guest (2002), argues that in the
context of work and life, balance does not refer to an equivalent weighting of
the two, but rather an acceptable, stable relationship.
2.2 The Concept of WLB
concept ‘work-life balance’ allows for a broader understanding of ‘non-work’
parts of life, joining workers with various family conditions, giving increased
scope to include men, and allowing for spill over and flexibility between work
and other parts of life (Gregory 2009).
concept of WLB is significant since it supports organisations to cater for
employees working lives and family lives in such a way that role conflict,
family stress, job anxiety and job dissatisfaction do not crop up. (De bruin,
it has also been argued that WLB depend on a ‘clock-time’ worldview, whereby
work and life are measurable through the acceptance of time as “a measurable
and value-able unit” (Roberts, 2008). However, this time-based method fails to
account for the quality as well as the quantity of time allocated to different
activities (Hyman, 2001). Moreover, WLB is generally expected to be a ‘choice’
which persons are able to make. (Lewis et al., 2007).
2.3 Determinant of WLB
Woodland et al. (2003) argues that WLB is also beneficial for both the
employees and organisations as it reduces absenteeism and enhance customer
services and this happen because employees are motivated to work.
Moreover, Benefits for employees comprise improved flexibility over
work?time, allowing it to be prepared around household and caring
responsibilities (Musson, 2005).
et al., (2009) stated that Child care and elder care enhance recruitment
efforts in a competitive marketplace. WLB propose a selection of determinants:
values, personality traits, work-related aspects (occupations, hours, working
conditions), household-related aspects (young children, care, and household
tasks, cleaning), leisure time (activities) and others (Crooker et al. 2003).
addition, Personal enhancers of
WLB, such as regular exercises and fitness agenda, yoga and meditation,
balanced diet as well as good sleep, loaded the heaviest as the most impacting
factors; working from home heavily impacts as a professional enhancer in the
WLB of women. A study in 2009 established that accessibility of child
care welfares such as ’emergency backup child service (center-based and in home
care)’ influenced the job choices of 58% of participants and elder care
benefits (long term care insurance and emergency elder care service) influenced
the choices of 33%.
the reduction of moral difficult stressors in the workplace is the vital
evidence of the effectiveness of work life balance. Negative influence of
stress related illness has shown to conceal the combined annual profits
concentrating on the types of work life support hold the most promise of
contribution to reduce health costs. Such examples are: fitness center
affiliations and on site work life seminars such as stress reduction, parenting
and many more…
employee with high levels flexibility are more likely to be involved in their
jobs, foremost to high job satisfaction. Examples of flexibility of work place
are: firstly, full time (telecommuting and compressed workweek) and secondly,
part time options (job sharing and part time schedules).
are many benefits of a good WLB such as Reductions are also possible in stress commonly associated with managing work and
home. (McDowell et al., 2005).
Furthermore, the high levels of satisfaction with work, indicative of
observed development, have been reported among those using flexible working
arrangements (Kelliher, 2008) and women working part?time (Connolly, 2008).
The term “work-life” refers to the
connection of self, career family and community.
Alliance for Work-Life Progress Global Headquarters
2.4 Consequences of work-life imbalance
most common fears of work life imbalance is depression, causing a reduced in
efficiency, higher absenteeism, leads to decrease in employees morale, higher
staff turnover and poorer work quality
of employees.(Seligman, 2011). Moreover, unbalanced work family life are caused
by increased work demands which leads to higher levels of stress, fatigue, and
poor time management. Additionally, Rendon, (2016) states that working mothers
advanced that in their determination to balance work and family roles, physical
stress arises. In Rendon’s study (2016), findings revealed that working mothers
were often tired and had little or no times for themselves if they are able to
complete all their responsibilities. It is coined that work stress can
interfere with home life.
Additionally, this has a harmful impact not only on
the employees but also on their families. (Hochschid 1997).As it rises anxiety
of individuals at work and at home (Doby 1995), foremost to lower quality
relationship with spouse and children (Greenhaus 2002). Increased work demands
such as overtime and shift works may lead to work family conflicts. (Johnson
2003). Thus, work related stress has a negative impact on employee the
organisation families and society. (Greenhaus et al., 2002).
However, Grady et
al., (2008) highlight the importance for organisation to implement WLB
initiatives such as flexible working hours, childcare facilities and support
such as counselling.
assistances to employees helps in retaining capable persons and this
automatically leads to profitability and organisation commitment. (Ryan et al.,
In contrast, when WLB priorities differ between employers and
employees, then work family conflict occurs. This leads to dissatisfied
employees leaving the organisation to look for work in other organisation where
WLB cultures are high. (Kristofer, 1996). Moreover, Clark, (2000) believes that
individuals with flexible work agendas achieve better WLB, which leads to
satisfaction both in the work and family.
2.5 Work family Conflict
The phrase ‘work-family conflict’
emerged in the 1980s (Barnett et al., 2006), having its origins in the study of
numerous roles (Brinley, 2005).As with role pressure, work-family conflict
emphases on tensions rising from women merging reproductive and productive
roles (Thompson, 2003). McElwain (2005), stated that, some studies have found
‘women experience greater levels of work-to-family conflict than men, but there
is no gender difference in family-to work conflict’.
to Hamilton et al, (2006), “work-life” and “work-family” are used
interchangeably to characterise a persons’ professional and private lives. Toth
et al., (2005) state that, the work-family conflict arises when women
experience the stress of the two roles. Families are cultural
which try to sustain a sense of continuity balance and hence each family
member’s growth. One of the most vital of these predictors is likely to be the
conflict arising out of the professional having to juggle several roles.
to, Anderson (2002) work family conflict can encourage employees to consider
leaving their organizations this have been extensively studied and proven.
These conflict would have a significant bearing on the Work- Life Balance of a
professional. The resulting emotions and stress would lead the individuals to
feel exhausted because of their familial pressures and inability to fulfil
their work related roles.
(2004) discovered work family and family work conflict as a predictor of
turnover intention, and tested the moderating effects of perceived work family
support from employers on these relationships. Furthermore, Greenhaus et al.
(1994) suggested two forms of work-family conflict, ‘time- and strain-based
conflict’. The former takes place when the time dedicated for one role makes it
hard to fulfil the requests of the other one. Whereas strain-based conflict is
experienced when the strain created in the work role interrupts into the other
role causing exhaustion, depression and nervousness.
a result, the concerns of the enduring work-family conflict are numerous kinds
of disappointment for example, ‘job dissatisfaction, family dissatisfaction,
life dissatisfaction, depression, and somatic symptoms ‘. Diseases of strain
arise as employed mothers usually face the difficulties of how to organise and
continue good child care. In the same way, Miller (2005) suggested that, even
if women always try to strike a balance in their routine, they have to switch
certain issues that are liable to jeopardize this balance. Given the above, Demerouti et al., (2004) in the same way indicated that
there is a mutual relations between work-family conflicts and emotional
exhaustion, such that conflicts lead to exhaustion, which leads to more
conflicts and more exhaustion.
Baldiga (2005) one point of view argues
that, when women are challenged with such a conflict, they have no reluctance
in placing their families first. In the
same line, Sullivan et al., (2001) in a series of
interviews found that, Women quoted managing their domestic tasks and childcare
situations as primary benefits, whilst males quoted having quality time to be
with the family. In addition, the authors indicated that females associate the home with paid work, whilst males
considered working from home as “being able to help out”.
Nevertheless, we can explore how work life
conflict (WLC) which is the conflicting demands between the work and family
roles of the women, which make their participation more difficult and thus
affect perceptions of WLB in married. As stated by Hamilton et al, (2006),
married female workers experience WLC between their roles as worker and spouse
or mother, while childless single female workers may experience WLC between
their worker role and volunteer role in their personal life domain.
women have achieved great victory in their careers, but still their
responsibility towards their family has not been reduced. They have to deal
with their family responsibilities along with their official work. According to
Kim et al.,(2014), the major reasons married women gave up exiting their job
were childrearing (46.7%), difficulty with balancing work and family affairs
(19.6%), and co-workers’ perception that female workers who have a child will
quit from their job (12.1%).
(2013) studied the consequence of WLB on performance of women employees. They
identified the variables that affect WLB. It was found that women who had low
work and family-related issues were highly able to achieve WLB than those who
had high rate of these issues. Steenbergen V. et al., (2007) suggested that
every person’s time and dynamism are limited.
the rise in work family conflict, the balance of attaining better WLB
decreased. Therefore this led to formulate the following hypothesis:
Work family conflict will adversely affect WLB among the working women.
Work family conflict will not adversely affect WLB among the working women.
2.6 Role of women and WLB
are frequently into full time job and are working 8 hours per day and 5 days in
a week least and are challenged by increasing workload every day. Women have to
carry responsibilities and work to home by balancing amongst these two
intricate situations. They have to manage with office pledges and the duties
and responsibilities of life and home. (Ghosh 2010). According to Greenhaus et
al., (2006) women have problems in managing their WLB, particularly if they do
not have support of their employer. Women must have a desire to take control of
their own WLB and take initiatives aimed at acquiring their WLB by themselves.
woman may be able to control the timing of her working day by managing when her
work actually begins, for example: some individual may be able to select their
work projects based on the hours they think they will have to work or even by
moving nearer to the workplace in order to decrease the amount of time the
individual spend travelling to and from work every day. In additions, they may
also develop positive dialogue with the management. Dutton (2010).
to Smith et al. (2011), the support from employers toward working women differs
on boss by boss basis. Female bosses with families and children tend to be more
familiar with having to juggle many different roles and are generally more flexible.
Male bosses, however, without children tend to be less forgiving and harder of
time outside of work. ‘This lack of understanding and ‘business first
mentality’ of jobs has caused many women to end up quitting from their jobs
because it does not provide the support they needed.
for organisations to retain talented women, there must be the establishment of
a family friendly human resource practice such as flexibility, telecommuting,
providing onsite day care. They can also create programs in dealing with stress
to promote a WLB for employees along with their families. (Powell 2010).
(2004) stated that because women are still responsible for domestic works and
childcare, it is hard for them to dedicate considerable time at work for
promotions and being over pressured in a masculinist environment, they have to
undertake a heavy workload with their family responsibilities, and they are
often considered as uncaring about their work environment issues. Similarly,
Shiva (2013) enlightened that working women having small children are forced to
leave their children in day care. This create more pressure for them and less
focus on their work. Furthermore, Lan (2006), stated in this study that the
policies centred of extending parental leave and child care facility helps a
greater flexibility in employment.
2.7 Job Autonomy &
Role overload and WLB
if there are a figure of job related variables that can influence a person’s
sense of comfort, it was felt that the more a person is in control and has the
freedom to perform the work assignment at their own pace and technique the
better will be the WLB. Baileyn (1993).
freedom to choose on the programme and technique of doing work has been
distinct as job autonomy.
fact Parasuraman et al., (1984) state that people who have better control over
their work environment are less stressed and identify their family life as more
positive and happy as compared to those who do not. Similarly, Ahuja et al.,
(2005) found that IT based jobs allowable more elasticity amongst the
professionals and therefore the workforces could better balance the opposing demands
of work and personal lives. However, Batt (2003) initiate no connection between
autonomy and work family conflict.
the rise in autonomy at the work place, the balances of attaining better WLB
increase. Therefore we propose the following hypothesis:
Job autonomy will improve Work-Life Balance among the working women.
autonomy will not improve Work-Life Balance among the working women.
the other hand, Bacharach et al., (1991) state that ‘role overload is the
outcome of having too many things to do at one time. ‘Furthermore, Carlson et
al., (2000) found ‘evidence of role conflict and role overload as predictors of
work and personal lives conflict. ‘In addition, Rajadhakshya (2000), take the
gender based socialisation procedure to clarify how societal structure impact
men into taking work roles and women to recognise and take on the caring family
Aryee (2005) also found this to be factual and female professionals practised a
higher level of parental over load than men., Verlander, (2004) states, another
issue faced by mothers is whether, and how to continue breastfeeding when they
return to work and unexpected sickness of children is a disaster that can be challenging
to handle and this often involves using unpaid leave and unexpected absences
from work. (Poduval at al., 2009).
Perceived role overload will harm WLB among the working women.
role overload will not harm WLB among the working women.
is argued that the socialisation of women as a mother and housewife is define
as the type of work they do within the realm of the home.However in modern
times more women’s into the workforce has come about due to the rise in single
parents, progression of women in education, professions and the requirement of
having two incomes to sustain a desired lifestyle. As a result, women
experience numerous role struggles in trying to meet their personal and work
there are resources that have been established to decrease the work-life
conflict for women resources such as organisational, spousal support, family
support, care networks, family friendly policies and flexible work preparations
are measured to be valuable resources to employees in enabling WLB (Easton et
literature results are significant for this study as they give insight into the
several challenges and demands that women have to deal with within their work
and personal lives, the effects that these challenges have on women at work in
these domains, the means that women and organisations employ to deal with the
work and home interface as well as the desired work environment, work practices
and policies that women believe would upgrade them in handling their work and
family roles better. The next chapter is the research methodology.