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"Fit" inside the work-family black box: an ecology of the life course, cycles of control reframing.

Authors
Moen-P; Kelly-E; Huang-R
Source
J Occup Organ Psychol 2008 Sep; 81(3):411-433
NIOSHTIC No.
20042156
Abstract
Scholars have not fully theorized the multifaceted, interdependent dimensions within the work-family "black box." Taking an ecology of the life course approach, we theorize common work-family and adequacy constructs as capturing different components of employees' cognitive appraisals of fit between their demands and resources at the interface between home and work. Employees' appraisals of their work-family linkages and of their relative resource adequacy are not made independently but, rather, co-occur as identifiable constellations of fit. The life course approach hypothesizes that shifts in objective demands/ resources at work and at home over the life course result in employees experiencing cycles of control, that is, corresponding shifts in their cognitive assessments of fit. We further theorize patterned appraisals of fit are key mediators between objective work-family conditions and employees' health, well-being and strategic adaptations. As a case example, we examine whether employees' assessments on ten dimensions cluster together as patterned fit constellations, using data from a middle-class sample of 753 employees working at Best Buy's corporate headquarters. We find no single linear construct of fit that captures the complexity within the work-family black box. Instead, respondents experience six distinctive constellations of fit: one optimal, two poor, and three moderate fit constellations.
Keywords
Workers; Workers-health; Behavior; Employee-health; Employees; Work-operations; Work-organization; Work-practices; Families; Job-analysis; Men; Women; Sociological-factors; Sociology; Life-sciences; Control-methods; Psychological-factors; Psychological-processes; Mental-processes; Attitude; Analytical-processes
Contact
Phyllis Moen, McKnight Presidential Chair in Sociology, University of Minnesota, 909 Social Sciences Bldg., 267 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
CODEN
JOCCEF
Publication Date
20080901
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
phylmoen@umn.edu
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
2008
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U01-OH-008788
Issue of Publication
3
ISSN
0963-1798
Source Name
Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
State
MN; OR
Performing Organization
Portland State University
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