The development of a work-life fit model: a demands and resources approach

Turner, M 2012, The development of a work-life fit model: a demands and resources approach, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Property, Construction and Project Management, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title The development of a work-life fit model: a demands and resources approach
Author(s) Turner, M
Year 2012
Abstract Workers of the Australian construction industry experience demands, such as long working hours, irregular work schedules and geographically isolated work locations. Research has indicated a clear relationship between excessive work demands and work-life conflict, which has negative impacts for workers’ health and wellbeing. Coupled with work demands, workers also experience demands originating from their family and community domains, which is often driven by life stage and individual preferences of workers. In order to fulfill work, family and community demands, workers often call on resources such as supervisor support, flexibility of work schedule, and childcare. The research sought to (i) identify the demands and resources relevant to workers of the Australian construction industry; (ii) identify the demand-resource profiles on different worker groups within a diverse construction workforce; (iii) investigate whether individual attributes influence demand-resource profiles; and (iv) evaluate whether Q Methodology was a suitable methodology with which to explore the work-life experience of workers of the construction industry.

A mixed methods approach was used to explore workers’ experience of demands and resources, which incorporated Q Methodology and survey research. The research suggests that Australian construction workers can be classified into four broad groups according to their work, family and community demand profiles. Results indicate that the construction workforce is not a homogenous workforce. Instead, the demands and resources associated with each of the four groups emphasises the heterogeneous nature of the construction workforce. Results suggest that the four worker profiles shared some commonality across experience and preference for demands and resources, and these originated primarily from the work and family domains. All profiles indicated low participation in the community domain. Results emphasised the subjective nature of experience, the dynamic and interdependent nature of demands and resources, and the role life stage plays in the configuration of demand-resource profiles. Given its focus on exploring subjectivity, Q Methodology was considered a sound methodology from which to explore the work-life experience of workers in the Australian construction industry.

The findings of the research form the basis of a new work-life fit model which applies a demands-resources approach. The major components of the model are: (i) demands and resources; (ii) individual factors influencing demand–resource profiles; (iii) meaning attributed to experience; (iv) work-life fit / mis-fit; and (v) role quality.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Property, Construction and Project Management
Keyword(s) work-life fit
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Created: Fri, 15 Mar 2013, 14:37:05 EST by Keely Chapman
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