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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Why Won’t My Manager Allow Me to Telework? Factors that Influence Federal Managers Telework Decision Making
by Patrick, Joeletta O., D.B.A., University of Maryland University College, 2019, 133; 27740336
Abstract (Summary)

Telework is one of the work-life programs implemented by federal agencies and private companies to attract and retain talent, improve work-life balance for employees, and ensure operations during emergencies and inclement weather. Congress passed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 that required federal agencies to implement telework programs for eligible employees. While the Federal Government wants to increase the number of teleworkers, eligible employees first-line managers are not permitting telework. This study used evidence-based research to answer the research question: What factors guide federal government managers’ decisions to support or prohibit telework programs? The systematic review generated a 21-article data set to extract evidence for the findings. The thematic synthesis identified varying types of influences to manager decisions in different industry sectors, with far fewer articles on government managers than managers in general. The body of evidence yielded 16 factors that influence managers decision. The dissertation discussed the top five in-depth: mistrust, technological challenges, work disruption, preconceived notions, and supportive management. Federal reports on telework were reviewed and scholarly, peer reviewed articles cited in the reports were included in the systematic review. A comparison of the federal reports with articles in the data set showed four of the top five factors in common, with a sixth included in the 16 factors but not among the top five. In the analysis of these factors, conclusions and recommendations acknowledged that telework decisions are susceptible to unconscious bias and violation of the psychological contract between the employee and the manager. Three recommendations were made that could help managers objectively review telework decisions: (a) consider using a telework decision assessment tool, (b) create a comprehensive performance work plan for employees, and (c) utilize a performance tracking software for employees, both in the office and teleworking. It is argued that elimination of bias in federal manager’s telework decision making will avoid the perception of management breaking the psychological contract and maintain a workplace that is perceived as fair to and supportive of federal employees whether they telework or not.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Breckon, Denise, Sherlock, John
Commitee: Wagner, Wanda
School: University of Maryland University College
Department: School of Business
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 81/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Business administration
Keywords: Decision making, Federal manager, Managerial attitudes, Telecommute, Telework, Unconscious bias
Publication Number: 27740336
ISBN: 9798607308124
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