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The Role Personality in Influencing Work-Family Balance Experience: A Study of Indian Journalists

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The Role Personality in Influencing Work-Family Balance Experience: A Study of Indian Journalists.

Authors

  1. Abha Bhalla (corresponding author) is a Senior Research Scholar under University Grants Commission and working fulltime in the Department of Commerce, Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar (143001), India.

Email Id: abha_bhalla53@yahoo.co.in, Mobile No. 8968600253

  1. Lakhwinder Singh Kang, Professor at Department of Commerce in Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar (143001), India.

Email Id: lakhwinderskang@gmail.com, Mobile No. 9876606320

Abstract

While an increasing body of research has investigated the situational factors affecting balancing of work and family roles, there is still scarcity of research on the relationship between personal factors and work-family balance. Moreover, limited research on this linkage is predominantly conducted in the western context, while focusing on the negative side of work-family balance (i.e. conflict). Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to estimate the effect of big-five personality traits (Openness-to-experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism) on all the four dimensions of work-family balance (work-to-family conflict: WFC; family-to-work conflict: FWC; work-to-family facilitation: WFF; and family-to-work facilitation: FWF) among Indian journalists. From the perspective of work-family balance, journalists are regarded as interesting group that has been rarely been examined by the work-family scholars. Firstly, the study validated the ‘Fourfold work-family balance’ scale and ‘Big-five personality’ scale in the Indian context. Further, results revealed that big five personality variables emerged as significant predictor set for all the four dimensions of work-family balance. Unexpectedly, conscientiousness did not reduce WFC, given the unpredictable nature of journalism that pressurizes even a conscientious journalist to sacrifice his family life and work lousy hours. Openness behaved like a double-edged sword that escalate both conflict and facilitation experience. However, extraversion was found not to increase facilitation experience for journalists. Overall, the findings suggest media organizations to conduct personality test for recruiting suitable candidates, whose personality traits make them best suited to the stressors of journalism profession. Moreover, knowledge of employees’ personality traits may increase the effectiveness of mentoring, job sharing and other employee assistance programs that aims to enhance employees’ work-family balance.

Keywords: Personality, Big Five, Work-family balance, Conflict, Facilitation, Gender, Journalists, India

The Role Personality in Influencing Work-Family Balance Experience: A Study of Indian Journalists.

Introduction        

Over the last two decades, India has gone through remarkable changes that need to delve into the balancing of work and family roles (Bhargava and Baral, 2009; Kang and Sandhu, 2012; and Mishra, 2015). Unprecedented technological advancements, service intensive globalization, trend towards long working hours, rising employment of mothers, increasing percentage of dual earner and single-parent households have indeed challenged employees to achieve equilibrium between their work and family roles. For the occupation like journalism, attaining work-family balance is far more challenging (MacDonald et al., 2016).

The nature of journalism induces its employees to work at unpredictable hours, travel in all weathers, miss festivals and holidays, meet daily deadlines, witness disasters and face immediate audience negative feedback, etc., which altogether makes their job unfriendly to family life (Reinardy, 2009; Monteiro et al., 2015). In addition, Fedler (2004) asserted that sleep deprivation, irregular meals, rapid changes in technology, frequent travelling, irregular working hours, exposure to traumatizing events and lots of stress are the intrinsic characteristics of the journalism profession, which affect attainment of desired work-family balance for journalists. Given that India score high on the cultural dimension of collectivism (i.e. people have a high preference for belonging to a larger social framework that includes family, relatives, neighbours and work groups), thus striking a balance between work and family roles has become an important concern for Indian journalists. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (2007) survey also revealed that stress has intensified in recent times among top and middle level positions in electronic and print media sector due to blurring boundary between their work-home domains. Although, little research exists at the global level that addressed journalists’ work-family balance issues (Reinardy, 2009; Monteiro et al., 2015), however, such studies are rare to find in the Indian context.

Furthermore, work-family research in the Indian context focuses largely on the environmental sources (i.e. job related and family related factors) of work-family conflict and work-family facilitation- the two psychological aspects that together compose work-family balance (Aryee et al., 2005; Bhargava and Baral, 2009; and Mishra, 2015). Therefore, it is important to look beyond environmental factors and explore other resources that may be associated with work-family balance. Andreassi and Thompson (2007) found that personality traits explain much variance in work-family conflict and facilitation than environmental variables. In the Indian context, Bharathi and Mala (2016) observed that the personal factors impact perception of women employees’ work-life balance experience more than the professional factors. However, perusal of existing literature substantiates that the relationship between personality and work-family balance is still at the infancy stage. Against this backdrop, this study extends prior research by testing personal resources (i.e. personality traits) in relation to complete work-family balance. At the present time, when India led the world in terms of newspaper circulation with nearly 330 million copies in daily circulation (World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, 2011), thus there remains a need to address ‘work-family balance’ concern of journalists.  Recently, Monteiro et al., (2015) meta-analytic study on the stressors of print media journalists highlighted that attaining desired ‘work-family balance’ is the major occupational stressor for journalists that adversely impact their well-being and they urge for further research on the individual differences (personality, gender) in the journalists’ work-family experience. Therefore, the present study is an effort in this direction.

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