Correlates of the use and perceived importance of family friendly initiatives : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
The present research investigated the relationship between family friendly initiatives (FFIs) and work-family conflict (WFC), performance, psychological strain, and turnover intent. In addition to considering the use of FFIs the current study also examined the perceived importance of FFIs, currently a neglected variable in FFI research. The importance of considering factors that may impact on the relationship between the use of FFIs and outcomes was also addressed in the current study by examining several support variables both within and outside the organisation, as well as psychological job involvement and effort in the work and family domains. Respondents were from one large New Zealand organisation that had well established FFIs in place. A self-report questionnaire was developed that contained items from existing scales as well as some items developed specifically for the current research. Overall 169 male and female employees returned useable questionnaires resulting in a response rate of 51 percent. As expected women perceived FFIs to be more important than men, but only those women with dependents. Interestingly the men in the current study showed higher levels of WFC than the women. In terms of 'outcomes' use of FFIs was positively related to intention to stay, this relationship was mediated though by team leader support and the work-family balance dimension of organisational support. Use of FFIs was also positively related to psychological strain suggesting that as strain increases so does the use of FFIs. Limitations of the current research along with suggestions for future research.