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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Marcus W. Dickson


Given the significant negative impact of work-family conflict (WFC) on employees’ work and family lives, researchers and organizations have been trying to determine how to mitigate the amount of WFC that employee’s experience. Many organizations seek to solve the problem of WFC in their employees by instituting flexible work arrangements (FWA), such as scheduling flexibility benefits (i.e., flextime and compressed workweeks) and location flexibility benefits (i.e., flexplace, otherwise known as telecommuting). However, literature in the work-life domain suggests that the mere availability of formal flexibility benefits may not be enough; rather, informal work-life supports, such as supervisor and organizational support of work-life balance, are consistently found to directly and indirectly reduce WFC in employees (Allen, 2001). Inspired by this stream of literature, this study explored the impact of work-life supportive work environments on employees’ WFC. Specifically, using a non-experimental, time-lagged online survey research design, the present study tested the direct and indirect effects of gender, family supportive organizational cultures, and family supportive supervisory behaviors on WFC via FWA use and psychological empowerment, as well as the moderating role of gender in the relationships between organizational and supervisor support and work-family outcomes. The proposed mediation and moderation models were tested using data collected from a sample of 294 full-time employees in the United States. The results suggest that reducing employees’ WFC is more complicated than simply instituting formal work-life policies and instead, a confluence of individual difference factors, such as gender, informal work-life supports, such as organizational and supervisor support, and cognitive/affective states, such as psychological empowerment, act to reduce employees’ WFC. Furthermore, this study suggests that previously equivocal findings regarding gender differences in WFC may be an artifact of the dominating measurement device (i.e., perceptual measures of WFC), as a newly validated behavioral assessment of WFC showed increased sensitivity at detecting gender differences in WFC, as compared to the ubiquitous perceptual measure.

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