Title

Flexing Work Boundaries: The Spillover and Crossover of Workplace Support

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title

Personnel Psychology

Volume

68

Issue

3

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

First Page

581

Last Page

614

Publication Date

7-10-2014

Abstract

Using boundary theory and conservation of resources theory, we examined how job incumbents’ perceptions of supervisor instrumental support and organizational segmentation support influence outcomes for both the incumbent and the spouse. First, we examined how supervisor instrumental support and organizational segmentation support shape incumbents’ perceived ability to flex work boundaries and thus affect their experience of family functioning and their organizational commitment. Second, we examine the effects of supervisor instrumental support and organizational segmentation support on spousal martial satisfaction and the spouse's commitment to the incumbent's employing organization as mediated through boundary flexibility and the spouse's perception of successful boundary management by the incumbent. Using a matched set of 503 subordinates and their spouses, this study found that both supervisor instrumental support and organizational segmentation support contribute to work boundary flexibility. Further, for the incumbent, family functioning and organizational commitment were enhanced through work boundary flexibility, whereas for the spouse, marital satisfaction and commitment to the incumbent's organization were enhanced through both incumbent work boundary flexibility and the spouse's perception of successful boundary management by the incumbent. We discuss the study's implications for theory, research, and practice while suggesting new research directions.

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