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A longitudinal examination of the work–nonwork boundary strength construct

TRACY D. HECHT and NATALIE J. ALLEN
Journal of Organizational Behavior
Vol. 30, No. 7 (OCTOBER 2009), pp. 839-862
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41683871
Page Count: 24
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A longitudinal examination of the work–nonwork boundary strength construct
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Abstract

Many organizations are blurring the boundaries between work and nonwork through practices such as flextime, telecommuting, and on-site day-cares. Such integration of work and nonwork is purported to help employees find the seemingly elusive "work-life balance." Scholarly investigations of this issue have increased in number, but a standard measure of work-nonwork boundary strength has yet to emerge. The purpose of this research is to explore the boundary strength construct through the process of measure validation. In Study 1, data were collected from students (N = 162) to pilot test the measure. Study 2 was a longitudinal field study in which data were collected from employees of Canadian organizations (Survey 1: N = 193; Matched data for Surveys 1 & 2: N = 205). Confirmatory factor analyses supported the hypothesized two-factor structure of the work-nonwork boundary strength measure, confirming the importance of differentiating boundary strength at home (BSH) and boundary strength at work (BSW). Longitudinal analyses confirmed the structural invariance of the measure and revealed that boundary strengths are relatively stable over a period of 1 year. Role identification was related to boundary strength at home only. Weak boundaries, both at home and at work, were associated with high inter-role conflict.

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