Multi-level dynamics of employee awareness and use of work-life and resilience initiatives within multinationals

Abstract : It is crucial for organizations, in times of economic hardships and scarce resources, to precisely assess the value of their human resources management (HRM) practices. This is particularly true for initiatives such as work-life and resilience initiatives whose take-up is voluntary and whose business case is still being questioned (Kelly & al., 2008). Understanding why certain categories of employees are aware and use certain categories of work-life and resilience initiatives is a key step for HR in order to strategically manage these initiatives. Factors explaining employees' diverse levels of awareness and of use may lie at the individual level, at the sub-unit level, such as the business unit, and at the national level for multinational organizations. Yet, little research has focused on the multi-level dynamics of employee awareness and use of optional HR practices within multinationals. This research is based on a four years multi-level case study of a pharmaceutical multinational recognized as a pioneer for work-life and resilience initiatives. Data has been collected in two countries and four business units, and analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. First, the distribution of awareness and use is analyzed and a theoretical model provided: factors shaping awareness and use are gender, age, care-giving status and supervisor status at the individual level, size of worksite and type of job at the business unit level and level of public provisions for work-life and employee expectations toward employers at the country level. Gender, age and care giving responsibilities act in combination, such that typical user profiles emerged. Awareness and use was higher among women, care givers, non supervisors, headquarters/support functions employees, and US employees compared to UK employees. Second, the concept of managerial use is introduced: managerial use is the active mobilization by the supervisor of available work-life and resilience initiatives in order to meet managerial objectives such as attracting talent and ensuring team performance and reap benefits in his or her managerial role. Managerial use parallels personal use and thus extends the value of work-life and resilience initiatives beyond employees who personally use them. Third, theoretical explanations for the differential awareness and use of the same set of initiatives within the same multinational are discussed. Rather than being deliberately targeted towards strategic employees as the organizational stratification theory would predict, work-life and resilience initiatives are known and used because of social representations of the ideal worker, as argued by social role theory. Non strategic factors (location, digital divide within the organization) are also found to shape awareness and use. A direct implication is that HR needs to better target work-life and resilience initiatives in order to meet employees' needs and make the business case happen.
Type de document :
Communication dans un congrès
Community, Work and Family IV International Conference, May 2011, Tampere, Finland
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Soumis le : lundi 19 mars 2012 - 16:31:44
Dernière modification le : lundi 19 mars 2012 - 16:31:44

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  • HAL Id : hal-00680547, version 1

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Ariane Ollier-Malaterre. Multi-level dynamics of employee awareness and use of work-life and resilience initiatives within multinationals. Community, Work and Family IV International Conference, May 2011, Tampere, Finland. 〈hal-00680547〉

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