When the Balance isn't easy: A case study exploring the complications with work/life balance initiative in the Australian construction industry
Townsend, Keith J., Bailey, Caroline, Brown, Kerry A., Bradley, Lisa M., & Lingard, Helen C. (2006) When the Balance isn't easy: A case study exploring the complications with work/life balance initiative in the Australian construction industry. In De Cieri, H., Bardoel, A., Barrett, R., Buttigeig, D., Rainnie, A., & McLean, K. (Eds.) Socially Responsive, Socially Responsible Approaches to Employment and Work, Proceedings of the ACREW conference, July 1-4, Prato, Italy.
Studies of work and life balance often concentrate on the ways in which employees may require and use flexible work practices to cope with the demands of their other ‘non-work’ activities and responsibilities. This paper adds to our knowledge in this arena through presenting a case study of work-life balance. This case study focuses on managerial and employee issues in implementing organisational work life balance initiatives within the construction industry in Australia. For this case study, the workplace was an ‘alliance’ project, of four collaborating companies undertaking a large infrastructure project. The project management group determined that work-life balance was an important issue within the industry and consequently implemented a five-day instead of the industry standard six-day working week as a balance initiative for the workforce.
A range of factors contributed to this five-day week initiative reverting to the original work schedule of a six-day working week. This paper explores these issues and analyses the competing priorities and demands of management in endeavouring to develop alternate strategies to maintain a positive work and life balance for employees. The analysis of this case suggests that management and employees were dedicated to improving work-life balance; however, a range of externalities resulted in not all initiatives being successful. Nevertheless, within the constrained choices, the management group instigated alternate initiatives.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Conference Paper|
|Keywords:||Work, Life Balance, Construction, Industrial Relations|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Industrial Relations (150306)|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2006 (please consult author)|
|Deposited On:||19 Oct 2006|
|Last Modified:||29 Feb 2012 13:20|
Repository Staff Only: item control page