Title

Work interrupted: a closer look at work boundary permeability

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2017

Abstract

Purpose: Given the prevalence of work interrupted by home-related matters, this paper aims to increase knowledge of the antecedents of work boundary permeability by investigating both individual and situational factors; and to better understand the consequences of work boundary permeability by examining both negative and positive effects using a finer-grained measure. Design/methodology/approach: Data were obtained using two surveys from 308 full-time employees from an information technology firm in the Midwestern USA. Structural equation modeling was used to test hypotheses. Findings: Individual differences in segmentation preferences (whether one prefers to keep work and home separated or integrated) and situational factors such as workload and home demands were found to predict work boundary permeability. Further, the results showed that maintaining a highly permeable work boundary may be detrimental rather than beneficial. High work boundary permeability led to greater time- and strain-based home-to-work conflict, but not to affective and instrumental positive spillover. Originality/value: Unlike much previous work–home research focusing on how work intrudes on time outside of work, this study focuses exclusively on how the work domain is affected by intrusions from the home domain. The findings deepen the knowledge about today’s workplace that is subject to continual interruptions and spillover from home-related matters.

DOI

10.1108/MRR-02-2017-0025

Publication Title

Management Research Review

Volume Number

40

Issue Number

12

First Page

1280

Last Page

1297

ISSN

20408269

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