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Driving innovations in manufacturing: Open Access research from DMEM

Strathprints makes available Open Access scholarly outputs by Strathclyde's Department of Design, Manufacture & Engineering Management (DMEM).

Centred on the vision of 'Delivering Total Engineering', DMEM is a centre for excellence in the processes, systems and technologies needed to support and enable engineering from concept to remanufacture. From user-centred design to sustainable design, from manufacturing operations to remanufacturing, from advanced materials research to systems engineering.

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Work-life balance and the software worker

Scholarios, D.M. and Marks, A. (2004) Work-life balance and the software worker. Human Resource Management Journal, 14 (2). pp. 54-74. ISSN 0954-5395

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Abstract

This article examines the impact of employer flexibility to work-life issues and negative spillover from work to non-work life on the attitudes of software developers. Software workers present an interesting case for work-life balance issues - Ackroyd et al (2000) designate them the key occupation to examine in future studies of 'knowledge workers', and Barrett (2001) states that they are the 'vanguard' of new working practices, with the separation of work and life being substantially more 'blurred' than for more traditional occupations. Despite this general perception of the work-life boundary, our results show that intrusion of work into private life for this group of workers still has a substantial impact on work-related attitudes. Work-life boundary variables affect trust in the organisation which plays a mediational role in these variables' relationship to job satisfaction and organisational commitment. Our results suggest that even within this industry, where employees are relatively individualistic in orientation, highly marketable and unlikely to show attachment to a single organisation, mutual gains for employee and employer can be attained by an accommodating approach to non-work commitments which may lead to greater organisational attachment.