Advertisement

The “Myth of Separate Worlds”: An Exploration of How Mobile Technology has Redefined Work-Life Balance

  • Linda Duxbury
  • Rob Smart
Chapter

Abstract

Technology has changed the business practices of millions of professional workers worldwide. The hardware and software that revolutionized how people worked were initially found only in the workplace and were used only during traditional 9-to-5 working hours. The typewriter stayed on the desk when its user went home, the office telephone was physically tied to its spot by a cable and computers were too heavy to be carried anywhere. Nowadays, however, the act of performing work is not limited to specific hours at a specific location. The latest incarnations of work related technology for professional employees, such as laptops, cell phones and the Blackberry, support work outside the confines of the office, at almost any time of the day or night (Towers et al., 2006).

Keywords

Work Extension Mobile Technology Impression Management Family Time Professional Employee 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Christopher Higgins and Dr. Ian Towers – who worked with us to collect much of the data reviewed in this chapter.

References

  1. Arnold M (2003) On the phenomenology of technology: the “Janus-Faces” of mobile phones. Inf Organ 13:231–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asforth B, Kreiner G, Fugate M (2000) All in a day’s work: boundaries and micro role transitions. Acad Manage Rev 25:472–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashforth B (2001) Role transitions in organizational life: an identify based perspective. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJGoogle Scholar
  4. Bolan S (2001) New retention route for IT shops. Comput Dealer News 17:40Google Scholar
  5. Bolino M (1999) Citizenship and impression management, good soldiers or good actors. Acad Manage Rev 24:82–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carlson D, Grzywacz J (2008) Reflections and future directions on measurement in work-family research. In Korabik K, Lero D, Whitehead D (eds) Handbook of work-family integration. Elsevier, New York, NY, pp 57–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark S (2000) Work/family border theory: a new theory of work/family balance. Hum Relat 53:747–770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Darrah C, English-Lueck J, Freeman J (2007) Living in the eye of the storm: controlling the Maelstrom in Silicon Valley. Working Paper, San Jose State University. http://www.sjsu.edu/depts/anthropology/svcp/pdfs/svcpmael.pdf. Accessed on 4 Jul 2007
  9. Dulaney K, Egan R, Purchase E (2000) How to build a wireless office: the next wireless revolution. A Garnter Group Research Note, 4 February 2000Google Scholar
  10. Duxbury L, Higgins C (2001) Work-life balance in the new millennium: where are we? Where do we need to go?. Canadian Policy Research Networks, Ottawa, ONGoogle Scholar
  11. Duxbury L, Higgins C (2009) Key findings and recommendations from the 2001 national work-life conflict study – Report Six. Ottawa: health Canada.Google Scholar
  12. Duxbury L, Higgins C, Mills S (1992) After hours telecommuting and work-family conflict: a comparative analysis. Inf Syst Res 3:173–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Duxbury L, Towers I, Higgins C, Thomas A (2007) From “9 to 5” to “24/7”: how technology has redefined the workday. In Law W (ed) Information resources management: global challenges. Idea Publishing, Lodon, pp 305–331Google Scholar
  14. Eikhof DR, Warhurst C, Haunschild A (2007) What work? What life? What balance? Critical reflections on the work-life balance debate. Empl Relat 29:325–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fleming P, Spicer A (2004) You can checkout anytime, but you can never leave: spatial boundaries in high commitment organizations. Hum Relat 57:75–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Frone M (2003) Work-life balance. In Quick J, Tetrick L (eds) Handbook of occupational health psychology. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, pp 143–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gephart R (2002) Introduction to the brave new workplace: organizational behaviour in the electronic age. J Organ Behav 23:327–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gergen K (2002) The challenge of absent presence. In Katz JE, Aakhus M (eds) Perpetual contact: mobile communication, private talk, public performance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 227–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Golden A, Geisler C (2007) Work-life boundary management and the personal digital assistant. Hum Relat 60:519–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Green N (2002) Who’s watching whom?. In Brown B, Green N, Harper R (eds) Wireless world: social and interactional aspects of the mobile age. Springer, London, pp 32–45Google Scholar
  21. Greenhaus JH, Allen TD (2006) Work–family balance: exploration of a concept. Family Studies Center – School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, Families and Work Research Conference, Provo, 20–22 March 2006Google Scholar
  22. Greenhaus JH, Singh R (2003) Work-family linkages. In Kossek EE, Pitt-Catsouphes M (eds) Work and family encyclopedia. Sloan Work and Family Research Network, Chestnut Hill, GA. http://wfnetwork.bc.edu/encyclopedia_entry.php?id=263&area=All. Accessed on 16 Feb 2010Google Scholar
  23. Greiner L (2006) Technology is throwing our work life balance out of whack. Computing Canada, 32. http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/ComputerCanada/News.asp?id=39062&bSearch=True. Accessed on 16 Feb 2010
  24. Hassard J (1999) Images of time in work and organization. In Clegg SR, Hardy C (eds) Studying Organization. Sage, London, pp 327–344Google Scholar
  25. Hochschild A (1989) The second shift: working parents and the revolution at home. Viking, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  26. Jarvenpaa S, Lang K (2005) Managing the paradoxes of mobile technology. Inf Syst Manage Fall:7–23Google Scholar
  27. Kahn R, Wolfe D, Quinn R, Snoek J, Rosenthal R (1964) Organizational stress: studies in role conflict and ambiguity. Wiley, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  28. Katz JE, Aakhus MA, (Eds) (2002) Perpetual contact: mobile communication, private talk, public performance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  29. Middleton C, Scheepers H, Cukier W (2005) Exploring the contradictions of mobility: a case study of BlackBerry users in Canada. In Thong J, Tam K (eds) Proceedings of the Hong Kong mobility roundtable.HKUST, Hong Kong, pp 299–309Google Scholar
  30. Pica D, Kakihara M (2003) The duality of mobility: designing fluid organizations through stable interaction. Association for Information Systems, 11th European Conference on Information Systems, Naples, 19–21 June 2003Google Scholar
  31. Prasopoulou E, Pouloudi A (2006) Enacting new temporal boundaries: the role of mobile phones. Eur J Inf Syst 15:277–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rakow L, Navarro V (1993) Remote mothering and the parallel shift: women meet the cellular telephone. Crit Stud Mass Commun 10:144–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Reid I (2001) Analyzing the return on investment of a BlackBerry deployment. Research Study prepared for Research in Motion: RIM, Waterloo, ONGoogle Scholar
  34. Salazar C (2001) Building boundaries and negotiating work at home. J Appl Behav Sci 43:162–170Google Scholar
  35. Shumate M, Fulk J (2004) Boundaries and role conflict: when work and family are co-located: a communication network and symbolic interaction approach. Hum Relat 57:55–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Thompson CA, Beauvais LL, Allen TD (2006) Work and family from an industrial/organizational psychology perspective. In Pitt-Catsouphes M, Kossek EE, Sweet S (eds) The work and family handbook. Multi-disciplinary Perspective and Approaches. Lawrence Erlbaum, London, pp 283–307Google Scholar
  37. Thompson J, Bunderson JS (2001) Work-nonwork conflict and the phenomenology of time: beyond the balance metaphor. Work Occup 28:17–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Towers I, Duxbury L, Higgins C, Thomas A (2006) Time thieves and space invaders: technology, work and the organization. Organ Change Manage 19:593–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Venkatesh A, Vitalari NP (1992) An emerging distributed work arrangement: an investigation of computer-based supplemental work at home. Manage Sci 38:1687–1706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Warhurst C, Eikhof DR, Haunschild A (2008) Out of balance or just out of bounds? Analysing the relationship between work and life. In Warhurst C, Eikhof DR, Haunschild A (eds) Work less, live more? Critical Analysis of the work-life boundary. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp 1–21Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations