Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Salvatore Sinatra

Abstract

Abstract

Employees experience challenges managing home and work. The increase of women in the workforce, single-parents, childcare, elder care responsibilities, and men in nontraditional roles warrant changes in traditional working hours and flexibility in work schedules. Through the theoretical frameworks of work-family conflict, spillover, border, and boundary theories, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how flexible work arrangements (FWAs) assisted employees in meeting work and family obligations. Minimal research is available in the defense industry and the use of FWAs. A nonprobability, convenience sample was used to explore how management and nonmanagement participants from a Midwest defense contractor used FWAs. An online questionnaire consisting of 59 questions and 14 face-to-face (FTF) interviews were used to collect data. There were 27 participants that responded to all online questions. FTF interviews were audio recorded and member-checked. The research questions were focused on how employees used FWAs and whether work-family balance (WFB) was achieved. Both data collection media were transcribed and inductively coded tracking emerging themes and patterns. Dominant themes showed that FWA increased WFB, employees worked longer hours, employees were loyal to the organization, and telecommuting was the ideal FWA. The implications for social change are providing a realistic view to employers on the importance of balancing work and family. FWAs are also shown to contribute to employee satisfaction and attract and retain highly-skilled workers.