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Work-family role conflict has become an important issue in the determination of organizational commitment. In recent years, there has been an increase in competitive pressures on organizations to increase productivity and an increase in time demands on the workforce, leaving less time available for the employees to be with their families. Moreover, the workforce composition has changed in recent years, with an increase in women in the workplace and there has been an increase in men being involved in family life (Cardson, 2005). Dual income couples and an increase in single parenting are now becoming the norm of today’s society. Work-family role conflict has been defined as “a form of inter-role conflict in which role pressures from the work and family domains are mutually incompatible in some respect” (Flippo, 2005). The conflict occurs when the employee extends their efforts to satisfy their work demands at the expense of their family demands or vice versa (Cole, 2004). Conflict could arise from work interfering with the family life, such as working overtime to meet demands of the job or from family demands when there is illness with a family member. A significant amount of researches have concluded that work-family conflict and family work conflict are related but distinct constructs (Ajiboye, 2008). Work-family conflict is primarily caused by excessive work de-mands and predicts negative family outcomes, whereas family-work conflict is primarily determined by family demands and predicts negative work outcomes (Adebola, 2005).
Therefore, if an employee is experiencing high levels of family-work role conflict, their roles and responsibilities in family life are interfering with the work domain. Mean-while, because the employee is more committed to the welfare of the family, this will take priority, reducing or minimizing the resources of time and energy being able to be spending in the work domain. Thus, employees who experience high family role conflict should experience less affective commitment to the organization. However, work-to-family conflict occurs when the domain of work interferes with the family demands and vice versa for work-family conflict (Ajiboye, 2008). The rationale for this hypothesis is that, if the employee is experiencing high conflict from either the work or family domain, it will be dependent on the employees’ calculative commitment levels. The higher the levels of conflict and the higher the number of inducements offered by the organization will result in employee producing extra efforts to ensure their continued employment. The fewer alternatives that are available to the continuance-committed employee, the more dedicated they tend to be (Iverson and Buttgieg, 2008).
In the recent times, arguments on work-family role con-flict as it affects workers` behaviour at workplace pervade the existing literature. Various researchers had investigated the relationship between work-family role conflict and organizational efficiency and productivity. In most of these studies, it was found that a significant relationship exist among work-family role conflict and managerial efficiency of the managers (Popoola, 2008; Akinjide, 2006; Collins and George, 2004; Akinboye, 2003). Similarly, Poele (2003) reported that efficiency in managing organizational resources for results could be better guaranteed when various variables other than one, such as leadership style, self-efficient, personality, work-family role conflict, job satisfaction and motivation are jointly combined by the managers in work organizations. The finding of the study is very unique in establishing the relevance of work-family conflict as an important factor in the consideration of effective management of organizational resources for results.
Organizational commitment has become one of the most popular work attitudes studied by practitioners and researchers (Allen and Meyer, 2000). One of the main reasons for its popularity is that organizations have con-tinued to find and sustain competitive advantage through teams of committed employees. Meyer et al. (2000) have found that committed employees are more likely to remain with the organization and strive towards the organization’s mission, goals and objectives. Organizational commitment is defined as the degree to which the employee feels devoted to their organization (Spector, 2000).
Further research into this variable has concluded that commitment is a diverse construct. Akintayo (2006) posited that there is general acceptance that organizational commitment has three main facets: affective, continuance, and normative, each with its own underlying ‘psychological states’. Affective commitment refers to the emotional bond and the identification the employee has with the organization. For the employees, the positives include enhanced feelings of devotion, belongingness, and stability (Meyer et al., 2003). Continuance (economic/calculative) commitment refers to what the employee will have to give up if they have to leave the organization or in other terms, the material benefits to be gained from remaining. Employees whose primary link to the organization is based on continuance commitment remain with the organization because they feel they need to do so for material benefits (Meyer et al., 2003).
Therefore, if the employees believe that fewer viable alternatives are available their continuance commitment will be stronger to their current employer. Lastly, normative commitment or moral commitment (Jaros et al., 2004) reflects a feeling of obligation to continue employment. Employees with a high level of normative commitment feel that they ought to remain with the organization (Bentein et al., 2005).
Reflecting on organizational commitment and managerial efficiency of the managers, reports of some researchers (Akintayo, 2006; Ciarrochi et al., 2001; George, 2000, Tsui et al., 1992) revealed that organizational commitment has significant influence on managerial efficiency of the managers. The researchers submitted that, organizational commitment is expected to moderate the relationship between work-family role con-flict, working environment and job satisfaction, and the relationship between work-family role conflict and job performance.
Adekola (2006), Ajaja (2004) and Williams and Warrens (2003) conducted researches on assessment of gender differences in burnout at workplace, work-family role conflict and managerial efficiency of the managers. Their findings revealed that the role conflict experienced by the managers resulting from work-family role interface has deleterious effects on their performance effectiveness. Also, female managers are less effective in managing organizational resources than male managers based on work-family role conflict. This is possibly because female managers tend to experience work-family role conflict than the male managers do. This finding still requires further empirical verification.
Further still, literature reveals that the negative effect of work-family role conflict on work attitude may be mode-rated by several variables (Martins et al., 2002). In these studies, emotional intelligence is expected to moderate the relationship between work-family role conflict and job satisfaction, and the relationship between work-family role conflict and career commitment. George (2000); Tsui et al. (1992) posit that family interference with work may have some negative consequences on the extent which employees will be satisfied with their works and com-mitted to their career. In essence, it can be deduced that, emotionally intelligent individuals are likely to have the ability to control such interferences or at least moderate them to an accepted level. On the basis of this logic, conflict and job satisfaction are expected to exhibit a reasonable level of correlation.
The response to this assertion has been two ways. Existing literature suggests two hypotheses concerning gender differences in domain sources conflict: domain flexibility and domain salience. The domain flexibility hypothesis predicts that the work domains are greater sources of conflict than the family domain for both men and women. The domain salience hypothesis predicts that the family domains are greater sources of conflict for men than the work domain (Lzaeli, 1993). Evans and Bartolome (1999) claim that the work domain is less flexible, so work affects family life more than the reverse and there is no gender difference. But for Cooke and Roussoau (1994) conflict is greater from the domain that is more salient to the person’s identity. Therefore, women will experience more conflict from the family domain and men from the work. Ajaja (2004) noted that women might experience more role conflict as a result of simultaneity of their multiples roles. Research evidences revealed that associated with gender are some family domain pres-sures like the effects of the presence of young children (Ciarrochi et al., 2001), spouse time in paid work, (Akinjide, 2006; Poele, 2003) and work domain pressures like number of hours worked per week (Akinboye, 2003) are gender differences associated with work-family role conflict.
However, Pleck et al. (1990) discovered that specific conditions that contribute most to the work-family (WFC) conflict were: excessive working hours, scheduling in-compatibilities, and physically/psychologically demanding duties that cause fatigue and irritability. Thus, husband (men) were more likely than wives (women) to report WFC caused by excessive work time whereas the wives (women) more than husband (men) were more likely to report WFC caused by schedule incompatibilities. The authors submit that work and family boundaries are asymmetrically permeable and that gender differences exist with regard to this has been debunked. According to this research finding, family boundaries, in that demands of the work role, are more likely to invade ones family roles than vice versa. Thus, no gender differences were found in the pattern of asymmetry. Similarly, Drago (2002) had predicted that women, because of responsibilities in the household, would have greater interferences from family to work than men; and that men, because of a string world allegiance, would have greater interferences from work families than women. In other studies, Popoola (2008) and Collins and George (2004) on women heading one- parent families reported conflict somewhat less often than women; or men in two-parent families, parent reported more conflict than childless couples and parent with school- age children. The literature reviewed for the purpose of this study revealed that extensive research work had been conducted to measure the relationship among work-family role conflict, job satisfaction, managerial efficiency and productivity. It is pertinent to note that all the reviewed studies were conducted in isolation and in different settings apart from Nigeria; and none of the studies focus on the relative influence of work-family role conflict on organizational commitment. Responding to this gap that exists in literature has necessitated this present study.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
Against this background, this study investigated the impact of work-family role conflict on organizational commitment among industrial workers in Nigeria. This is for the purpose of ascertaining the relevance of work-family role conflict to job commitment assessment in industrial organizations in Nigeria.
1.3 Hypotheses for the Study
The study adopted null hypotheses which were generated and tested for the purpose of the study. The study hypothesized that work-family role conflict will not significantly predict organizational commitment of the respondents. Also, there is no significant difference between work-family role conflict of married and single respondents based on work-family role conflict. Besides, it was hypothesized further that there is no significant difference between work-family role conflict of male and female respondents based on work-family role conflict. Moreover, there is no significant difference between work-family role conflict of respondents, who have spent above ten years and those who have spent less than ten years on the job based on work-family role conflict. More so, there is no significant difference between organizational commitment of married and single respondents based on work-family role conflict. Furthermore, the study tested that there is no significant difference between organizational commitment of male and female respondents based on work-family role conflict. Lastly, it was hypothesized that there is no significant difference between organizational commitment of respondents, who have spent above ten years and those who have spent less than ten years on the job, based on work-family role conflict.
In the light of these reviews, this study is set to test the following hypotheses:
1.3 Research Objectives
Based on the afore stated problem in view, the following specific objectives are considered in this work;
1. Individuals with low work-family conflict will be more committed to their organisation than counterparts who are high on work-family conflict.
2. Senior staff will be more committed to their organisation than the junior staffs.
3. Workers in banking institutions will be more committed to their organisation more than workers in other work institutions.
The general objective is to compare the existing relationship, if any, between work-family role conflict and organisational commitment among industrial workers in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
1. Will individuals with low work-family conflict be more committed to their organisation than counterparts who are high on work-family conflict?
2. Will Senior staff be more committed to their organisation than the junior staff?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will contribute to the existing body of literature on the subject matter of work-family conflict and organisational commitment among industrial workers in Nigeria, and also help with policy formulation in related areas, as well as serve as a reference material for future works of research in this area.
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