Work–Family Conflicts Experienced by Project Managers in the Chinese Construction Industry

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 47
  • Published : March 7, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

International Journal of Project Management 29 (2011) 117–128 www.elsevier.com/locate/ijproman

Work–family conflicts experienced by project managers in the Chinese construction industry Jun Ying Liu a,*, Sui Pheng Low b
a b

Department of Construction Management, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, PR China Department of Building, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117566, Singapore

Received 13 December 2009; received in revised form 26 January 2010; accepted 28 January 2010

Abstract Project managers in the construction industry, play an important role in achieving project objectives. Construction involves a demanding work environment with considerable potential to interfere with their family life in the way of time, strain and behavior. It is therefore important to understand the relationship between work and family life of construction project managers. The purpose of the study is to find out whether the respondents experienced all forms of work-to-family conflict greater than in the direction from family-to-work conflict. Using a validated multi-item construct-based questionnaire, a survey was carried out on a sample of construction project managers in China. The findings showed that Chinese project managers experienced different time-based and strain-based conflicts between the work interference with family conflict (WIFC) direction and the family interference with work conflict (FIWC) direction, but the same behavior-based conflict between the WIFC direction and the FIWC direction. Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved. Keywords: Project managers; Work–family conflict; China

1. Introduction The area of work–family research has become a much investigated topic in today’s organizational behavior research as it has been shown to lead to undesirable outcomes associated with employee’s work life, family life, general health and well-being (Carlson, 2000; Bruck et al., 2002). Most research on the work–family interface has focused on work–family conflicts as it is often thought that the incompatibility in role expectations between the two important focal points of adult life – work and family, results in conflicts as these two life domains compete for the finite resources of time and energy that individuals possess (Netemeyer, 1996; Korabik et al., 2008). Three forms of work– family conflict have been identified, namely: time-based conflict, strain-based conflict and behavior-based conflict Corresponding author. E-mail addresses: liujunying@tju.edu.cn (J.Y. Liu), bdglowsp@nus. edu.sg (S.P. Low). 0263-7863/$36.00 Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2010.01.012 *

(Greenhaus and Beutell, 1985). Each form of work–family conflict is further distinguished between work interfering with family and family interfering with work (Gutek, 1991). The work–family experiences of employees in the construction industry have largely been ignored by construction researchers (Lingard and Francis, 2004). However, recent research in Australia suggested that construction involves a demanding work environment with considerable potential to interfere with employees’ non-work lives in a negative way (Lingard and Sublet, 2002; Lingard and Francis, 2004, 2006). Project managers in the construction industry, play an important role in achieving project objectives and in ensuring the successful outcomes of projects. It is therefore important to know the relationship between work and family life of project managers in the construction industry. Although most research has suggested that employees experienced greater interference from work-to-family than from family-to-work (Gutek, 1991; Netemeyer, 1996), little is known about when the three forms of work–family conflict are combined within these two directions (Carlson,

118

J.Y. Liu, S.P. Low / International Journal of Project Management 29 (2011) 117–128

2000). Hence, the objectives of this study...
tracking img