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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Beyond a Need-Based Fairness Perspective: Coworkers' Perceptions of Justice in Flexible Work Arrangements
by Sprinkle, Therese A., Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 2012, 179; 3518120
Abstract (Summary)

Past research on flexible work arrangements (FWA, or those short-term restructurings of work hours to accommodate work-life balance) has established that employees who take advantage of such policies, as well as employees who believe that they might use the policies someday, respond with positive attitudes (e.g., organizational commitment, job satisfaction) and behaviors (e.g., performance). However, no research has examined the perceptions and behaviors of those coworkers who have to carry on in the workplace while the FWA-user is gone.

The FWA Coworker Impact Model was developed and tested on a sample of adults who work in organizations where short-term FWA practices are allowed and taken. Data were collected from an online research panel and was tested using structural equation modeling.

This research has found that FWA-in-practice is made up of four components: (1) the justification of leave taking, (2) the redistribution of work, (3) following norms and (4) coworker consideration. Three of these four components were found to influence coworkers' perceptions of justice associated with FWA (distributive, procedural, interpersonal, and informational justice), and with important workplace perceptions and behaviors (organizational citizenship behavior, political behavior, and counterproductive work behaviors). Specifically, following norms was found to be related to all dimensions of justice, suggesting that any short-term FWA which does not conform to the tacit or formal practices is considered unfair. Redistribution of work had a negative relationship with OCB. This warrants further investigation but may suggest that any redistribution of work in the short term will begin to eat at coworkers' helping and altruistic behavior in the workplace.

This research addresses three gaps in our current understanding of FWA: (1) the treatment of FWA as a singular event rather than as a series of workplace practices, (2) the limited scope of organizational justice as only need-based rather than as a multidimensional construct when applied to FWA, and (3) the exploration of only positive outcomes as opposed to both positive and negative outcomes associated with FWA. The FWA Coworker Impact Model has implications for FWA policies and procedures, as well as FWA-users' behavior.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Masterson, Suzanne
Commitee: Dubeck, Paula, Hollensbe, Elaine, Ritchey, Phillip Neal
School: University of Cincinnati
Department: Business Administration
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Occupational psychology, Labor relations, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Counterproductive workplace behavior, Coworkers, Flexible work arrangements, Organizational citizenship behavior, Organizational justice, Politicking, Work-family research
Publication Number: 3518120
ISBN: 978-1-267-48970-8
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