Organisational characteristics associated with the implementation of work-life balance policies within South African organisations

Fraser, Cornelia Susanna (2017-12)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Work-life balance has become an important concept in research and practice. However, very little South African literature has explored work-life balance and how it is perceived by managers and employees alike. Moreover, scant research attention has been given to the organisational characteristics associated with the implementation of work-life balance policies within South African organisations. Extending previous international research, this study sought to gather South African-based information by exploring organisations’ work-life initiatives. Using a qualitative, exploratory design, the present study designed and administered a semi-structured interview schedule. The procedure consisted of an initial design phase, followed by an administration phase. A semi-structured interview schedule was constructed during the design phase. During the administration phase, the newly developed interview schedule was administered to eight human resource managers from a variety of organisations across South Africa. The results from the interviews revealed that strategic intent, along with very specific internal and external factors, are important determinants of the implementation of work-life balance policies within the sample of South African organisations. Implications for practice include having a clear understanding of the organisation’s strategy, having an organisational culture that favours the utilisation of work-life balance policies, and being aware that management is key in realising a healthy work environment. In addition, female employment in key positions promotes the implementation of work-life balance policies, as do Generation Y employees, while the need for greater work flexibility and transparent communication cannot be understated. Taken together, the present findings add value to the limited South African literature and offer foundational insights for future research in the field of work-life balance.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die konsep van ’n balans tussen werk en lewe is een wat van belang is in beide navorsing en praktyk. Ten spyte daarvan is daar min Suid-Afrikaanse navorsing wat ondersoek ingestel het rakende die onderwerp. Geen navorsing is gedoen met betrekking tot die organisatoriese eienskappe wat verband hou met die implementering van beleid oor ’n werk-lewe balans in Suid-Afrikaanse ondernemings nie. Hierdie studie het probeer om Suid-Afrikaanse data te bekom deur ondersoek in te stel na Suid-Afrikaanse werk-lewe balans-inisiatiewe voortspruitend uit bestaande internasionale navorsing oor die onderwerp. Deur gebruik te maak van ’n kwalitatiewe, verkennende studie-ontwerp het die huidige studie ’n semi-gestruktureerde onderhoudskedule ontwerp en toegepas. Die prosedure het bestaan uit ’n toepassingsfase, voorafgegaan deur ’n aanvanklike ontwerpsfase. Gedurende die toepassingsfase is die ontwikkelde onderhoudskedule toegepas onder agt menslike hulpbronbestuurders wat ’n verskeidenheid organisasies in Suid-Afrika verteenwoordig. Dit blyk vanuit die onderhoude dat ’n strategiese bedoeling, tesame met baie spesifiek geïdentifiseerde interne sowel as eksterne faktore, belangrike determinante is vir die implementering van beleide oor werk-lewe balans in die monster van Suid-Afrikaanse organisasies. Praktiese implikasies van die studie sluit onder andere in dat ’n begrip van die organisasie se strategie, sowel as ’n organisatoriese kultuur wat werk-lewe balans bevorder, ’n sleutelrol speel. Verder word die rol van bestuur in die organisasie beklemtoon. Die studie dui daarop dat vroulike indiensneming, veral in sleutelposisies, die implementering van werk-lewe balans-beleide bevorder, en ter selfde tyd kan die behoefte aan groter werksbuigsaamheid en deursigtige kommunikasie nie onderskat kan word nie. Die huidige bevindings voeg waarde tot die beperkte Suid-Afrikaanse literatuur en bied verder fundamentele insigte vir toekomstige navorsing op die gebied van werk-lewe balans.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102838
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