Discourse practice gaps in work life balance : comparative case studies in the Australian construction industry

McDonald, Paula K., Townsend, Keith J., & Cathcart, Abby (2009) Discourse practice gaps in work life balance : comparative case studies in the Australian construction industry. In Proceedings of the 15th World Congress of the International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA): The New World of Work, Organisations and Employment, 24–27 August 2009, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney.

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Perspectives on work-life balance (WLB) reflected in political, media and organisational discourse, would maintain that WLB is on the agenda because of broad social, economic and political factors (Fleetwood 2007). In contrast, critical scholarship which examines work-life balance (WLB) and its associated practices maintains that workplace flexibility is more than a quasi-functionalist response to contemporary problems faced by individuals, families or organisations. For example, the literature identifies where flexible work arrangements have not lived up to expectations of a panacea for work-home conflicts, being characterised as much by employer-driven working conditions that disadvantage workers and constrain balance, as they are by employee friendly practices that enable it (Charlesworth 1997). Further, even where generous organisational work-life balance policies exist, under-utilisation is an issue (Schaefer et al, 2007). Compounding these issues is that many employees perceive their paid work as becoming more intense, pressured and demanding (Townsend et al 2003).

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ID Code: 27759
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Work Life Balance, Australian Construction Industry
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 05 Oct 2009 03:38
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2011 23:35

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