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    Managing your own work-life balance: what works in the police?

    McDowall, Almuth (2014) Managing your own work-life balance: what works in the police? In: European Academy of Occupational Health Conference, 2014, Birkbeck College, University of London, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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    Whilst research that examines work-life balance (WLB) has expanded considerably, novel paradigms are required to progress the field and inform the development of effective interventions. Moreover, little is known about what individuals can do to facilitate their personal WLB in organizational contexts. To address this gap in the WLB literature, this study aimed to elicit behaviours used by employees to self-manage WLB. These behaviours would subsequently be used to develop a competency-based WLB framework that encompasses the knowledge, skills, and abilities required in a particular occupational context which could be subsequently compared with existing WLB frameworks. Participants were recruited from a major UK police force which was currently experiencing particular challenges in managing the work–life interface due to increased job demands and organizational cutbacks. Participants were employed in a range of operational job roles, including uniformed officers and civilian staff. Taking a mixed methods approach, semistructured interviews were initially conducted to elicit 134 distinct WLB behaviours (n = 20) and a card sort task (n = 10) was subsequently performed to group these into 12 behavioural categories. This elicitation stage informed the development of an online survey (n = 356) for initial validation. Item and content analysis reduced the existing WLB behaviours to 58, which were then analysed using reliability and correlational analyses. A framework of eight competencies were found to best fit the data. These encompassed a range of strategies, including Boundary Management, Managing Flexibility, and Managing Expectations. The WLB self-management behaviours comprise a range of solution-focused strategies with the potential to underpin future WLB-focused interventions, thus helping individuals to negotiate borders effectively in specific occupational contexts. In conclusion, a competency-based approach has the potential to further our understanding of ‘what works’ in practice.


    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2016 12:38
    Last Modified: 07 Aug 2023 16:10


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