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An investigation into the experiences of managers who work flexibly

This thesis explores the experiences of managers who work flexibly. Flexible working
policies are prevalent in all organizations in the UK because of the legislation giving
specific groups of parents and carers the right to request flexible working. Many
organizations extend the policies to all employees, yet the take-up is not as high as
expected, particularly among staff at managerial levels. This thesis explores how
managers construe and experience flexible working arrangements while successfully
fulfilling their roles as managers of people.
The exploratory study consisted of interviews with eight managers with unique flexible
working patterns. Analysis of the interview transcripts identified concepts of
consistency and adaptability. Consistency refers to meeting fixed needs from the work
and non-work domains, and adaptability refers to the adjustment of schedules to meet
the changing demands from those domains. The concepts of consistency and
adaptability were further explored in the main study which is based on interviews with
24 women and 10 men who held managerial positions and had a flexible working
arrangement which reduced their face time in the workplace.
The research offers three main contributions to the literature. At a theoretical level, I
propose a model which demonstrates how individuals use consistency and adaptability
to meet the fixed and changing demands from the work and non-work domains. This
model extends understanding of the complexity of the segmentation/integration
continuum of boundary theory, explaining how and why managers use flexible working
arrangements as a means of managing boundaries and achieving desired goals in both
domains. Four distinct clusters emerged among the managerial participants in terms of
the type and direction of adaptability, indicating the range of strategies used by
managers to ensure the success of their flexible working arrangements. A detailed
description of managers’ flexible working experiences is provided, adding to what is
known about the role of manager through the exploration of the enactment of that role
when working flexibly.
Date09 1900
CreatorsAnderson, Deirdre
ContributorsSingh, Val
PublisherCranfield University
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeThesis or dissertation, Doctoral, PhD

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