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Theories of Successful Work-life Integration

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To meet current challenges of business organizations, companies have recognized the need to make necessary arrangements to meet organization and employee needs in order to get maximum benefit out of it. Successful work-life integration has resulted in the form of many benefits for employees including: minimizing the conflict between personal life and work, positive work enhancement, reduced psychological and physical health problems, reduced stress, increased satisfaction and happiness in work and non work life, and organizations generate profit from all these individual outcomes in terms of intangible benefits in the form of, lower employee turnover intention, high level of organizational commitment and higher individual performance.

Organizations also gaining independent benefits by introducing as organizations might experience positive effects on concerning external communications and reputation by introducing work-life integration and can get a pool of talented employees by positioning themselves as work-family friendly employer, additionally organizations can also gain tangible benefits in the form of organizational performance, reduced absenteeism and employee retention these benefits were divided in individual and organizational benefits by Reindl, organizational benefits were further divided in to tangible and no tangible benefits.

The concept has been originated from stress theory which highlights negative side of work-family domain which is also referred as work-family conflict, later on researchers started to look into positive domain of work-family interaction termed as work-family balance. It is agreed with no exception that work-life balance is important for an individual in terms of self esteem, psychological well being, satisfaction and harmony in life . However it has been questioned that work-life balance always leads positive consensus, there is lack of consensus on what actually work-life balance is, how it can be defined, measured, theorized, what are it’s constituents, what factors can affect it, these are the assumptions which are not firmly answered yet because of miscellaneous definitions of work-family balance. The origin of concept can be linked back in 1985 with the study on women performing different roles as worker wife and mother. Women working as paid worker, a mother and wife at a same time creates anxiety and role conflict.

Barnett and Baruch defined role balance as“rewards minus concerns” difference score which could range from positive to negative values. This research question was later approached by another group of researchers in terms of typology of perception they used the concept of role conflict and enhancement hypothesis, role conflict hypothesis states that multiple roles and demands leads to role conflicts due o infinite demands and finite resources . Clinical child psychology practice and training while enhancement hypothesis states that: multiple roles with infinite demands creates benefits for individuals in the form of status, privilege, psychological support and personal growth which enhance individual resources and facilitates role performance. Tiedjeetal in 1990 took role conflict and role enchancement as independent dimension and found that either of four possibilities occures high conflict and low enhancement, high enhancement and low conflict, low conflict and low enhancement, high conflict and high enhancement. They also found that women who experience high role conflict were more depressed and less satisfied as parents, as compared to women who had low conflict.

As per the results of Barnett and Bunch (1985) and Tiegde (1990) it can b concluded that high rewards and enhancement combined with low concerns and conflict experienced across the roles in one’s life is beneficial for an individual’s well-being, and hence these experiences characterize role balance .

According to Marks and MacDermid’s theory of role balance (1996) roles balance is not an outcome rather it is a person’s cognitive-affective tendency to balance one’s inner life to perform multiple selves/tasks, the role balance can be either positive or negative. According to them positive role balance is the tendency to perform all roles with equally high efforts, attention and devotion. Positive role balance leads to role ease, which ultimately results in to role enhancement. Whereas negative role balance refers to the tendency to engage in roles with lack of interest, distrust, low effort and low attentiveness, which leads to role strain that creates role conflict.

More recent views of work-life balance include: Grzywacz and Carlson, 2007 gave overall appraisal approach and components approach. Overall appraisal approach states that a person is performing all the tasks related to work and private life with satisfaction and minimum role conflict and maintaining equilibrium or overall sense of harmony in life. According to overall appraisal approach, work life balance is accessed by using general 30J. Rantanen et al measures which means to find out how individuals feel in balancing overall work and personal life. According to Frone (2003) work- family balance is constituted of work-family conflict and work- family facilitation corresponding with role conflict and role enhancement respectively.

According to theory of role balance, Greenhaus et al. (2003) defined work family balance as how individuals are equally engaged and equally satisfied with their work and family role. According t o components approach work-family balance consists of factors which leads to balance for e. g according to Greenhaus (2003) work family balance consists of three elements time balance, involvement balance and satisfaction balance. According to them imlalance of work lies at one and and family imbalance lies at another end, which balance lies at an equilibrium point between these two extreme. Individuals who pay more attention to work face imbalance in family life and vice versa. Greenhaus et al (2003) states that t needs empirical investigation whether equal efforts in the three roles are benfical or harmful to the individual well being or quality. They found in their study that the individuals who invest more in personal life experience high level of personal well being and quality of life, as compared to those who invest more efforts in work. In 2003 Frone developed a fourfold model of work-family balance he classified work role and family role as separate domains and defined work-family balance as low level of inter role conflict and high level of inter role facilitation. According to Frone when an individual participates more in wok it enhance the performance in family role and likewise if an individual participates more in family role, it may enhance performance in work role, work life balance exists in two directions from work to life and from life to work. Frone gave four measurlabe components of work-life balance (i) work to family conflict (ii) family to work conflict (III) work to family enhancement (IV) family to work enhancement.

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