Work-family conflict among IT specialty workers in the US

Lalitha Urs, Aaron M. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Specialty workers are a source of critical, locally scarce technical skills. This study aimed to understand the experience of work-family conflict among specialty workers in the US by exploring the process of transitioning from working in their home countries to working in the US. While participants perceived initial difficulties in adapting to the new environment, over time, they experienced lower work-family conflict in the US compared to working in their own home countries. In their home countries, where work and family domains were considered separate and culturally defined boundaries separating these domains are rigidly maintained; these participants relied heavily on family support to manage work-family conflict. Moving to the US, where greater integration of work and family domains is prevalent, these participants managed work-family conflict by revisiting altered demands, accessing alternate organizational resources and learning new skills to create and maintain work-family boundaries. This study contributes to the nascent body of literature on work-family relations in the context of international migration by highlighting a specific case of Indian specialty workers who adopt different boundary-spanning strategies to manage work-family conflict in changed social and working conditions. In essence, participants managed work-family conflict by using enhanced autonomy to increase flexible working and accessing other resources such as supervisory support and organizational flexible working policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-271
Number of pages25
JournalCommunity, Work and Family
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 27 2018

Keywords

  • Boundary management strategies
  • IT specialty workers
  • resources and demands
  • temporary workers
  • work-family conflict

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