The Flexible Organization: How Contemporary Employees Construct the Work/Life Border
DOI: 10.1080/17459430701617895
Title: The Flexible Organization: How Contemporary Employees Construct the Work/Life Border
Journal Title: Qualitative Research Reports in Communication
Volume: Volume 8
Issue: Issue 1
Publication Date: October 2007
Start Page: 37
End Page: 44
Published online: 11 Oct 2007
ISSN: 1745-9435
Author: Renee Cowan* & Mary F. Hoffman
Abstract: The subject of work/life balance and boundaries has received much scholarly attention in the last 15 years. How employees understand these concepts and organizational response to this construction can and does have real consequences for an employee's work/life balance. Consistent with work/life border theory, initial qualitative data indicated that employees identify flexibility and permeability as key concepts in work/life balance. We sought to understand how contemporary employees define these terms. Interview data suggested that contemporary employees desire four distinct but interdependent types of flexibility: time, space, evaluation, and compensation. The emphasis on flexibility suggested a trend, at least among this sample, toward integrating the domains of work and life consistent with work/life boundary theory and raised questions about the changing conception of work in contemporary organizations. Conclusions and implications are discussed. Results of this study suggest that future research should seek to uncover what communicative strategies organizations and employees use to co-create and negotiate this work/life border.

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