Relation to previous research
Numerous studies have been conducted to demonstrate how work-life balance influences employee performance. However, little research exists to demonstrate how HR managers may use the work-life balance to develop an effective organizational culture that will bring competitive efficiencies to the organization. There is some empirical evidence indicating that WLB initiatives can produce positive effects. For instance, Stephen Kaiser argues that by focusing on the WLB of workers, the managers can indirectly promote cooperation and reduce the risk of conflicts in the workplace (Kaiser 2011). To a great extent, this research will rely on the Social Exchange Theory. According to this model, individual behaviour is shaped by the cost-benefit analysis (Kaiser 2011, p. 15; Daft 2008). For example, if an employee believes that the benefits of work do not justify the costs, this person will be unwilling to improve his/her performance (Thompson, Yau & Siu-Man, 2008, p. 91). More importantly, work-life balance is one of the benefits that every individual expects to receive.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
The importance of WLB initiatives for organizational culture can be illustrated by looking at those companies, in which employees cannot establish any balance between their career and personal needs. For example, the companies, where people have to work long hours, have to cope with such challenges as increased absenteeism, tensions between employees, high levels of turnover, decreased motivation, and the inability of management to implement new strategies or plans (Thompson, Yau & Siu-Man, 2008, p. 91; Bragger et al. 2005). It should be noted that these problems affect not only separate individuals; they can also shape the behaviour of large groups like departments or even divisions (Narayanan & Lakshmi 2012). These examples suggest that WLB initiatives can impact the organization of a company in a positive way.
Therefore, this study will try to examine whether WLB initiatives can affect various aspects of organizational behaviour such as the level of motivation and commitment, loyalty to organizational goals. It is also important to mention that WLB is important for the performance of individuals and groups. For instance, individuals who are obliged to work a fixed amount of time per day often achieve results that they are capable of attaining (Chick 2004). The problem is that they focus on time or duration of their work, rather than its quality (Cropanzano et al. 1997). When such an attitude becomes widespread, a company can become stagnant. This is one of the pitfalls that should be avoided. In contrast, the organizations that emphasize the flexibility of work hours can raise the volume of production (Brummelhuis & van der Lippe 2010; Friedman; Christensen & DeGroot 1998). Therefore, one can say that WLB can influence the attitude of individual workers as well as the entire personnel. Moreover, one can assume WLB initiatives can reduce the competitive strength of an organization and its sustainability greatly.
Thus, this research will be aimed at examining the possible impact of WLB initiatives on the organizational culture. It is possible to conjecture that these strategies can improve the workplace behaviour of individuals and groups (Chalofsky 2008). However, this conjecture should be confirmed in an empirical way. Additionally, it is important to identify the strategies that business administrators can apply in order to promote a vibrant organizational culture and improve the performance of a company. It seems that these questions are interesting from theoretical and practical standpoints. This is why these issues should be examined in more detail.
Key research questions
- Is work-life balance a predictor of effective workplace culture?
- What work-life balance initiatives lead to a competitive organizational culture?
- What alternatives can Saudi Aramco take to initialize a vibrant workplace culture using the work-life balance paradigm?
This research will rely on the qualitative research method, namely semi-structured interviews, since this technique enables the researcher to explore various perspectives of the participants (Klenke, 2008, p. 126). In particular, in the course of the study, it will be necessary to survey employees representing such as company as Saudi Aramco. The sample should include approximately 30 workers from this organization. The sample size is important because these 30 employees will represent different posts and roles in the organization. One can single out several departments within this organization. In particular, it is possible to speak about oil division, chemical refining, gas, distribution department, and the workers of terminals and ports. Thus, each of these divisions will be represented by six workers. Furthermore, three of the respondents for every department will occupy managerial positions, while the other three interviewees will represent the frontline personnel. Apart from that, they can differ in terms of the compensation level. These differences are important for this study because workers may not always agree with the strategies of senior management. The subjects can express a variety of opinions about the effectiveness of WLB initiatives and their impact on organizational culture and the values of workers.
This approach is necessary because one has to look at various work-life balance strategies from different standpoints (Kaiser & Ringlstetter 2011, p. 118). Provided that a researcher examines only the opinions of the business administrators, he/she can get a distorted idea about the culture and policies of a company and eventually come to the wrong conclusions about the role of WLB initiatives. Each of the interviews will be carried out in person. The participants will need to respond to a set of questions about the influence of work-life balance initiatives on the organizational culture. These open-ended questions will prompt the subjects to evaluate the efficiency of WLB initiatives and their impact on attitudes, values, performance of employees and their loyalty to the company. These are the main dependent variables that should be examined. The answers provided by the respondents will be codified and analyzed. On the basis of this information, it will be possible to identify the most common issues or factors that affect the organizational culture in Saudi Aramco. Close attention will be paid to the positive or negative effects that could be brought by WLB initiatives to the organization. Finally, the responses of Aramco employees can be used for the development of recommendations regarding work-life balance initiatives. These suggestions can be considered by management. This is how I would like to approach this question, and it can have both theoretical and practical implications that may be considered by business administrators and HR professionals.
It is possible that I will encounter certain practical and empirical difficulties while conducting this study. First of all, some of the respondents may be unable or unwilling to spend their time on the interviews. One should take into account that semi-structured interviews are time-consuming (Klenke, 2008, p. 126). As it has been said before, the WLB initiatives should be discussed from various perspectives (Kaiser & Ringlstetter 2011, p. 118). Nevertheless, the respondents may speak about other questions that were not intended to be discussed. Furthermore, it is important to remember that some of the participants can misinterpret the questions. As a researcher, I will have to ensure that my analysis of the responses will be accurate; otherwise, the validity of the study can be undermined.
100% original paper
on any topic
done in as little as
Apart from that, I will need to pay close attention to the theoretical framework. I will discuss some of the managerial theories which can throw light on the impact of the WLB initiatives on the culture of a company. Much attention should be paid to the models describing the formation of organizational culture (De Witte 1999). They will be important for describing and explaining the results of my study. So, I will take more time in order to examine theoretical works related to this topic.
Additionally, I will need to focus on the ethical concerns that are related to the study. In particular, I will need to ensure the anonymity of respondents since the issue can be of great concern to these people (Chrisler & McCreary 2010, p. 591). The records of the interview will not be disclosed to any third parties. Additionally, it will be necessary to explain the goal of this study to the participants so that these people could give informed consent (Babbie 2010, p. 84). One of my tasks is to make sure that participation in this research does not yield to adverse consequences for the respondents. These are the main ethical issues that should be addressed; otherwise, this study can impact the welfare of the participants.
Finally, my views can affect the results of the study. In my opinion, WLB initiatives can improve the organizational culture of a company. Therefore, it is possible that I will interpret the responses of employees in a way that fits my hypothesis. Such situations can be widespread in those situations when qualitative research is conducted (Stake 2010, p. 164). Therefore, I may need to let other people peer-review my answers of the respondents and the results of my analysis. This is one of the precautions that I will have to take in order to ensure the accuracy of the results. So, I will take into account various factors in order to complete this research.
This research is of great personal interest to me. As a person who may occupy managerial positions, I will need to focus on the organizational culture. Moreover, I will have to ensure that the employees are committed to the goals of a company. In turn, various WLB initiatives can be of great use to me. This is why I chose to examine this issue. Additionally, I think that the results of the study can have theoretical implications for people who study the behaviour of employees in the organization. Moreover, one can develop guidelines that business administrators can consider. This rationale is also important.
Babbie, E 2010, The practice of social research, Cengage Learning, Boston.
Bragger, J, Rodriguez-Srednicki, O, Kutcher, E, Indovino, L, & Rosner, E 2005, ‘Work-family Conflict, Work-family Culture, and Organizational Citizenship Behavior Among Teachers’, Journal Of Business & Psychology, vol. 20 no. 2, pp. 303-324.
Brummelhuis, L, & van der Lippe, T 2010, ‘Effective work-life balance support for various household structures’, Human Resource Management, vol. 49 no. 2, pp. 173-193.
Chalofsky, N 2008, ‘Work-life Programs and Organizational Culture: The Essence of Workplace Community’, Organization Development Journal, vol. 26 no. 1, pp. 11-18.
Chick, E 2004, Fundamentals of Work-Life Balance, American Society for Training and Development, New York.
Cropanzano, R, Howes, J, Grandey, A, & Toth, P 1997, ‘The relationship of organizational politics and support to work behaviors, attitudes, and stress’, Journal Of Organizational Behavior, vol. 18 no. 2, pp. 159-180.
Chrisler, J. & McCreary, D 2010, Handbook of Gender Research in Psychology: Gender research in social and applied psychology, Springer, Boston.
Daft, R 2008, The New Era of Management, Cengage Learning EMEA, London.
De Witte, K 1999, Organizational Culture: A Special Issue of the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Psychology Press, New York.
Friedman, S, Christensen, P, & DeGroot, J 1998, ‘Work and life: the end of the zero-sum game’, Harvard Business Review, vol. 76 no. 6, pp. 119-129.
Kaiser, S 2011, Creating Balance?: International Perspectives on the Work-Life Integration of Professionals, Springer, New York.
100% original paper
written from scratch
specifically for you?
Kaiser, S., & Ringlstetter, M 2011, Strategic Management of Professional Service Firms: Theory and Practice, Springer, London.
Klenke, E 2008, Qualitative Research In The Study Of Leadership, Emerald Group Publishing, London.
Narayanan, A, & Lakshmi R 2012, ‘An Empirical Study on Factors Affecting Work-Life Balance of IT Professionals’, European Journal Of Social Science, vol. 31 no. 1-3, pp. 302-313.
Stake, R 2010, Qualitative Research: Studying How Things Work, Guilford Press, London.
Thompson, N, Yau, J, & Siu-Man, N 2008, ‘Work-life Balance: Lessons from the United Kingdom and Hong Kong’, Journal Of Psychology In Chinese Societies, vol. 9 no. 10, pp. 85-101.