Interference between work and home : an empirical study of the antecedents, outcomes, and coping strategies amongst public sector employees
Work-home interference has been receiving increasing attention in the organizational behaviour literature. It is defined as a form of inter-role conflic t in which the demands of the work role and the demands of the home role are mutually incompatible. Existing research on work interference with home/home interference with work has focused on situational antecedents and attitudinal outcomes, with limited attention paid to gender- and disposition-based predictors, behavioural outcomes, and coping strategies associated with interference. Using a quantitative methodology, this thesis drew upon two separate samples of UK public sector employees, comprising 208 and 226 respondents respectively, to pursue three aims: 1) to examine the roles of gender and of personality in contributing to interference, as well as the potential for characteristics associated with one domain (e.g., home) to influence the degree of interference generated by the opposing domain (e.g., work); 2) to investigate the link between interference and extra-role work behaviours such as organizatio na l citizenship and workplace deviance; and 3) to extend existing knowledge of coping strategies for dealing with work-home interference. Findings indicated that gender moderated the effects of both home- and work-related characteristics on home interference with work, and that dispositional variables were capable of predicting work-home interference above and beyond the effects of situational characteristics. With regard to behavioural outcomes, work-home interference predicted increased workplace deviance amongst employees. Work interference with home was associated with greater employee participation in organizational citizenship behaviours, while the opposite was true for home interference with work. In terms of coping with interference, cognitive reappraisal was identified as the most effective strategy, and gender was found to moderate the effect of certain coping strategies on interference. Contributions of the thesis, major research and practical implications, and future research directions are discussed.