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Abstract

We focus on everyday role transitions involving home, work, and other places. Transitions are boundary-crossing activities, where one exits and enters roles by surmounting role boundaries. Roles can be arrayed on a continuum, spanning high segmentation to high integration. Segmentation decreases role blurring but increases the magnitude of change, rendering boundary crossing more difficult; crossing often is facilitated by rites of passage. Integration decreases the magnitude of change but increases blurring, rendering boundary creation and maintenance more difficult; this challenge often is surmounted by boundary work.
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... More specifically, forced remote working has led individuals to experience more integration between their work and family roles. The transition from one social identity to another one generally requires low contrast in roles and permeable and flexible boundaries (Ashforth et al., 2000). Professional and family roles are usually highly differentiated and characterized by few cross-role interruptions (Nippert-Eng, 1996). ...
... We suggest that temporal flexibility, combined with job autonomy, may mitigate all the issues connected to the integration of roles and the related work-family conflicts that could arise while working at home. On one hand, we suppose that temporal flexibility may decrease the blurring of roles generated by working in the same space in which we live on a daily basis (Ashforth et al., 2000). On the other hand, we believe that job autonomy may help individuals smoothly transition from a social role to another. ...
... Secondly, we demonstrate that the work-life balance generated through these forms of flexibility could lead individuals to higher levels of psychological wellbeing. Past studies argued that when individuals work from home they may encounter difficulties in engaging in their professional roles as well as being satisfied with their jobs (Rothbard et al., 2005Ashforth et al., 2000. Our results show that temporal flexibility and job autonomy have helped individuals to handle their social roles, which in turn resulted in achieving better levels of psychological well-being. ...
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Purpose of the paper: This empirical study investigates the relationship between job autonomy, temporal flexibility and the psychological well-being of employees, as represented by work engagement and job satisfaction, and mediated by work-life balance within a forced remote working context. Methodology: A quantitative approach was adopted. The data was gathered through a survey administered to 1,550 workers during the lockdown and analyzed through Structural Equation Modelling. Findings: We show that temporal flexibility and job autonomy enhance the work-life balance of employees and, through the mediation of this construct, positively affect the psychological well-being of employees, measured in terms of work engagement and job satisfaction. Research limits: The present research presents some limitations from both theoretical and methodological perspectives. Although temporal flexibility directly impacts work-life balance, this relationship could also be examined through the mediating role of job autonomy. The measure scales adopted in the scientific literature were modified in line with the guidelines provided by the investigated organization, thus partially changing their robustness. Practical implications: Our research also provides useful implications for managers who must tackle the challenges of remote working that emerged during the pandemic and will characterize the new conception of normal after COVID-19. Originality of the paper: This study is the first to investigate the impact of the only factors related to flexibility that were experienced by employees during lockdown on two components of psychological well-being, i.e. work engagement and job satisfaction, through work-life balance.
... Research referring to the qualities of the boundaries between life domains typically defines core characteristics of the boundaries between work and other spheres of life that are relevant for WNBC. As such, permeability refers to the extent to which psychological and behavioral aspects can diffuse through the boundaries one has set (Ashforth et al., 2000;Clark, 2000). Second, flexibility means the contraction or expansion of a domain regarding its temporal and spatial constraints and is oriented toward requirements in either life domain (Hall and Richter, 1988 Moreover, the active configuration of work-nonwork boundaries is conceptualized on a continuum from segmentation to integration (Ashforth et al., 2000;Kossek and Lautsch, 2012;Wepfer et al., 2018). ...
... As such, permeability refers to the extent to which psychological and behavioral aspects can diffuse through the boundaries one has set (Ashforth et al., 2000;Clark, 2000). Second, flexibility means the contraction or expansion of a domain regarding its temporal and spatial constraints and is oriented toward requirements in either life domain (Hall and Richter, 1988 Moreover, the active configuration of work-nonwork boundaries is conceptualized on a continuum from segmentation to integration (Ashforth et al., 2000;Kossek and Lautsch, 2012;Wepfer et al., 2018). Segmentation refers to strict boundary-setting and inflexible and impermeable role boundaries. ...
... Specifically, the nomological net for the item development of our WNBC is built on the work-home boundary theory (Ashforth et al., 2000). Ashforth et al. (2000) refer to roles that hold expectations, rules, and norms in respective life domains and converge with the conceptualizing of roles in the WNB definition by Casper et al. (2018), which underlies our WNBC scale. ...
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Ongoing developments, such as digitalization, increased the interference of the work and nonwork life domains, urging many to continuously manage engagement in respective domains. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent home-office regulations further boosted the need for employees to find a good work-nonwork balance, thereby optimizing their health and well-being. Consequently, proactive individual-level crafting strategies for balancing work with other relevant life domains were becoming increasingly important. However, these strategies received insufficient attention in previous research despite their potential relevance for satisfying psychological needs, such as psychological detachment. We addressed this research gap by introducing a new scale measuring crafting for a work-nonwork balance and examining its relevance in job-and life satisfaction, work engagement, subjective vitality, family role and job performance, boundary management and self-rated work-nonwork balance. The Work-Nonwork Balance Crafting Scale was validated in five countries (Austria, Finland, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland), encompassing data from a heterogeneous sample of more than 4,200 employees. In study 1, exploratory factor analysis revealed a two-factorial scale structure. Confirmatory factor analysis, test for measurement invariance, and convergent validity were provided in study 2. Replication of confirmatory factor analysis, incremental and criterion validity of the Work-Nonwork Balance Crafting Scale for job and life satisfaction were assessed in study 3. Study 4 displayed criterion validity, test–retest reliability, testing measurement invariance, and applicability of the scale across work cultures. Finally, study 5 delivered evidence for the Work-Nonwork Balance Crafting Scale in predicting work-nonwork balance. The novel Work-Nonwork Balance Crafting Scale captured crafting for the challenging balance between work and nonwork and performed well across several different working cultures in increasingly digitalized societies. Both researchers and practitioners may use this tool to assess crafting efforts to balance both life domains and to study relationships with outcomes relevant to employee health and well-being.
... Queste due teorie prendono nome di teoria del confine (boundary theory) e teoria del bordo (border theory) (Lavassani & Movahedi, 2014). La teoria del confine (Ashforth, Kreiner, & Fugate, 2000;Nippert-Eng, 1996) divide la vita sociale in due sfere separate ma interdipendenti tra di loro: la sfera del lavoro e quella della famiglia. La teoria del bordo (Clark, 2000) condivide i medesimi assunti della prospettiva precedente, ma si propone, inoltre, di individuare e intervenire sui fattori che fanno confliggere queste due sfere (Clark, 2000;Desrochers & Sargent, 2002). ...
... Il nome di queste teorie si rifà alla concezione secondo la quale la vita lavorativa e quella familiare sarebbero separate da dei confini, più o meno flessibili e permeabili, di natura fisica, temporale e psicologica (Ashforth et al., 2000;Clark, 2000). Con flessibilità si intende il grado in cui la persona ha la possibilità di attuare un certo ruolo al di fuori dei confini fisici e temporali del dominio a cui tale ruolo appartiene. ...
... È uno dei più recenti modelli in grado di spiegare la relazione lavorofamiglia e si basa su un approfondimento della letteratura vigente, in particolar modo della teoria del miglioramento del ruolo e quella della ricaduta (Lavassani & Movahedi, 2014 & Watanabe, 1993). Ne segue che la flessibilità e la permeabilità dei confini, nonché la frequenza a vivere esperienze di conflitto tra il lavoro e la famiglia, dipendono dalle caratteristiche degli individui così come quelle dei due domini che compongono le loro vite (Ashforth et al., 2000;Clark, 2000;Nippert-Eng, 1996). Ci sono persone che hanno un minore controllo rispetto ad altre dei confini che separano le due sfere. ...
... This may be the case considering that such enrichment would require less boundary work across roles (Ashforth, Kreiner, & Fugate, 2000). Conversely, it could also be that developing an overcoming adversity identity from adversity experienced in the work domain may be less, rather than more, enriching, because the negative aspects of the past adverse experience may negatively contaminate work schemas, which is a key characteristic of posttraumatic disorder at work (Vogel & Bolino, 2020). ...
Article
The limited organizational scholarship on past adversity has characterized it as something to cope with, positing that how past adversity is perceived is key to employees’ coping effectiveness (Nurmohamed et al., 2021; Stephens et al., 2015; Vogel & Bolino, 2020). Conversely, lay theory suggests that “what does not kill you makes you stronger.” Through this dissertation, I aim to provide empirical evidence for this claim in an organizational setting. To do so, I draw on positive identity growth theorizing (Maitlis, 2009; 2020) to empirically examine the organizational benefits of identity growth after experiences of overcoming adversity. In doing so, I introduce a new concept to the organizational behavior literature, an “overcoming adversity identity,” which is when an experience of hardship, whether singular or continuous, has been redeemed in the eyes of the person with that experience, thereby becoming a positive part of that person’s identity. Through two longitudinal studies and one randomized experimental intervention, I find promising evidence that having a stronger overcoming adversity identity is associated with interpersonal, intrapersonal, and intellectual character enrichment (the tripartite model of character; Park et al., 2017). I also find some evidence that suggests that this character enrichment, in turn, is positively related to extra-role performance and in-role performance, and negatively related to burnout. Implications and future directions are discussed. In conclusion, this dissertation provides preliminary empirical evidence to suggest that indeed, what does not kill you can make you stronger.
... Features of smartphones (e.g., email) also increase the likelihood of work-related smartphone use at home as there is often an implicit expectation to be available even during non-work hours (Chesley et al., 2003;Derks et al., 2014), which can create fear for employees that colleagues and supervisors may think of them as not committed and unproductive if they are not accessible and responsive at all times (de Wet & Koekemoer, 2016;Thomas, 2014). As a result, it can be more difficult to disengage from work while at home (Ashforth et al., 2000;Berkowsky, 2013;Boswell & Olson-Buchanan, 2007;Derks et al., 2014;Schlachter et al., 2018) and perform family responsibilities (Bakker et al., 2008). In addition, work-related smartphone use during non-work hours can result in a decrease in family cohesion (Stevens et al., 2006), as there is less focus on quality family time. ...
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Smartphone ownership and use continues to proliferate, allowing people to easily access online communication, entertainment, and information. Importantly, individuals can perceive that they overuse their smartphone and/or the social media applications (apps) they access on their devices. Much of the research on smartphone overuse has focused on youth and emerging adults, with little research focusing on individuals in the established adulthood stage of life. This study examines smartphone use among established adults who perceive that they overuse their smartphone and/or social media. As part of a larger study, we conducted in-depth interviews with 21 individuals (30–45 years old) who self-identified as smartphone and/or social media overusers. Data were collected through a pre-survey, 1-hour interview, and smartphone use screenshots. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and then coded using NVivo software. Participants’ average age was 35.9 years (SD = 4.1). The majority of the sample were female (67%), White (76%), and had a master’s degree or higher (76%). Participants spent an average of 215 min on their smartphone daily, primarily using social media, video conferencing, and texting apps. Issues with smartphone use occurred when there was an unclear separation between work and personal use. Participants felt pressure to always respond quickly to work emails. An effort was made to limit smartphone use for work and during family time to be present for their family. Established adults strive to balance smartphone use for personal and work purposes. Creating boundaries for how and when established adults use their smartphone may help them find this balance.
... As events are time and space bounded (Morgeson et al., 2015), they have a beginning (onset), and create a transition period between the introduction of the event and a post-transition period (Bliese et al., 2017). While micro-transitions are relatively minor and common (Ashforth, Kreiner, & Fugate, 2000), 'meaningful transitions' are those that prompt significant change in individuals' lives as a result of, for example, a significant global macro event (Adler & Castro, 2019). Following Bliese et al. (2017), we argue that acute events inadvertently involve transitioning processes and that event system theory allows us to better understand such events. ...
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The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed how global work is conducted in multinational enterprises. There has been a rapid and forced shift from global mobility to global virtual work. Taking a transition perspective and drawing on event system theory, this paper examines the transitional working experiences of global workers amid a global health pandemic. Through 32 in-depth interviews (pre- and in-Covid-19), our findings reveal how this exogenous event has transformed previously unquestioned and enshrined global work routines. By unpacking the transition process, we find that global workers were challenged to reconfigure the structural and relational dimensions of their global work. We disentangle the strategic and sustainable lessons learnt on the future of global working for multinational enterprises.
Chapter
Die Vereinbarkeit verschiedener Lebensbereiche wie Arbeit, Familie und Freizeit stellt einen wichtigen Faktor für das individuelle Wohlbefinden dar. Anforderungen aus verschiedene Lebensdomänen können sich gegenseitig bereichern, häufig aber auch zu Konflikten zwischen diesen führen. Nach der Boundary Management Theorie sind die Grenzen zwischen den Lebensbereichen je nach Person und Arbeit unterschiedlich durchlässig und können bewusst gestaltet werden. Zufriedenheit mit der Life-Balance entsteht dann, wenn die eigenen Ressourcen als ausreichend empfunden werden, um die Anforderungen aller Lebensbereiche erfolgreich zu meistern. Zur Förderung der Life-Balance und zum Reduzieren von Konflikten zwischen den Lebensbereichen eignen sich ressourcenorientierte Ansätze, die Personen bei der bewussten Grenzziehung und dem Ausbalancieren ihrer Lebensdomänen unterstützen. So kann es hilfreich sein, den Übergang zwischen den Lebensbereichen durch Strategien oder Rituale aktiv zu gestaltet und so den notwendigen Rollenwechsel zu erleichtern. Die Förderung eines bewussten Umgangs mit digitalen Technologien und erweiterter Erreichbarkeit kann für eine gelungene Grenzziehung zwischen Arbeit und Privatleben förderlich sein. Daneben können Ansätze, wie die Steigerung der Achtsamkeit oder der Aufbau von arbeitsbezogenen oder privaten Netzwerken – als soziale Ressourcen – für eine positive Life-Balance gewinnbringend sein. Ein von Arbeitspsychologinnen der Universität Heidelberg entwickeltes webbasiertes Training wird exemplarisch vorgestellt, in dem diese Ressourcen für eine bessere Life-Balance von Beschäftigten gefördert werden.
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