One size fits one : customizing work through manager-employee exchange

McDonald, Paula K. & Townsend, Keith J. (2012) One size fits one : customizing work through manager-employee exchange. In 16th International Labour and Employment Relations Association World Congress 2012 : Beyond Borders: Governance of Work in a Global Economy, 2-5 July 2012, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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While prior research has addressed how collective workplace outcomes are negotiated between employers and trade unions, less attention has been afforded to the ‘everyday’, micro-level exchanges between managers and employees in adjusting work, alongside the ‘standard’ terms and conditions set out in employment contracts. Building on previous work on idiosyncratic deals and requests for flexible scheduling, this article presents the findings from a survey of Australian parents which addressed manager-employee exchanges which led to customized work arrangements. The survey examined the frequency with which various employment terms and conditions were negotiated, who initiated the interactions, where they occurred, and the extent of perceived compromise. The study revealed that manager-employee exchanges occur frequently in the context of roles in nuclear and extended families, and are influenced by the parameters around which formal childcare and educational settings function. Women rated the exchanges as more important than men, but men and women were similarly comfortable with the interactions and satisfied with outcomes. The findings have important implications for managers and organizations in terms of balancing the goals of efficiency with employees’ preferences for workplace flexibility and other terms beyond those which are standardized.

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ID Code: 54148
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Customized Work Arrangements, Flexibility, Manager-Employee Exchange, Work and Family, Employment Relations
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
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
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 15 Oct 2012 01:11
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2012 04:09

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