AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

Work life balance in Australian supermarkets

by Rodney James Hughes

Institution: University of Newcastle
Year: 2015
Keywords: work life balance; burnout; supermarkets
Record ID: 1039574
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/1062276


Professional Doctorate - Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Work life balance (WLB) has become increasingly important to individuals and organisations alike. Individuals are seeking organisations that have flexible work practices that allow them to effectively manage both their life and work responsibilities. Organisations on the other hand are seeking to attract and retain talent. In Australia, despite a number of legislated entitlements being introduced with the Fair Work Act (FWA) 2009 and the National Employment Standards (NES), research suggests that there has been little positive improvement for Australian workers. In Australia, the supermarket industry is a substantial employer with an estimated 275,000 employees. The Australian supermarket industry is considered to have high levels of part time and casual work, female participation and turnover. Moreover, the Australian supermarket environment has long and varied working hours that make it unique compared to the rest of the retail industry. This research aims to expand the knowledge regarding work life balance and burnout in the Australian supermarket environment. Prior research suggests that work life balance initiatives have the ability to buffer against burnout and some of the associated antecedents of burnout, such as turnover and absenteeism. Burnout may also result in reduced concern for compliance with the organisations policies and their level of customer orientation.A survey involving 1277 participants within Australian supermarkets was conducted in November 2013 through to January 2014. Analysis of the data in this research project showed that work life balance has a strong negative association with burnout, which suggests, that work life balance initiatives may assist in reducing personal burnout. Secondly, this research found that WLB mediated the relationship between burnout and turnover intention. This suggests that WLB initiatives may assist in reducing an individual’s intention to leave the organisation. Third, this research found that WLB mediated the relationship between burnout and affective commitment. This suggests that WLB initiatives may provide act as an additional resource that may assist in reducing the effect that burnout has on an individual’s affective commitment. The results of this research have implications for management practice and to further theory development. Moreover, suggestions are given to identify areas for possible future research to assist in better understanding of WLB and burnout within Australian supermarkets.