Topic: Employee Communication and Quality Employer-Employee Relationships

Author, Title and Publication
Jiang, H. (2012). A model of work-life conflict and quality of employee-organization relationships: Transformational leadership, procedural justice, and family-supportive workplace initiatives. Public Relations Review, 38, 231-245. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2011.11.007

Quality relationships between organizations and their employees contribute to organizational effectiveness. This study tested a new model of employer-employee relationships by introducing time-based and strain-based work-life conflict as variables leading to relationship outcomes (trust, commitment, satisfaction, and control mutuality). It also investigated the possible effects of transformational leadership, organizational procedural justice, and family-supportive workplace initiatives upon employees’ perceived work-life conflict and relationships with their employers.

Through a survey of 396 employees working in 44 U.S. organizations, results showed that 1) the amount of time-based work-life conflict perceived by employees significantly influenced their perceived quality of relationships with their employers. The lower employees’ time-based work-life conflict, the better the quality of employer-employee relationships. 2) When immediate supervisors respected their subordinates as individuals with unique characters and needs and treated them differently but fairly, employees perceived high levels of trust, commitment, satisfaction, and control mutuality. 3) Employees who perceived they were treated fairly by their organizations developed quality relationships with their employers; fair procedures used to make work-life policies and decisions was a significant antecedent of high employee trust, commitment, satisfaction, and control mutuality. 4) Whether organizations administered fair procedures for work-life conflict related policies and decisions greatly affected employees’ perceptions of the time-based and strain-based work-life conflict.

Implications for Practice
This study shed light on how organizations could build quality relationships with employees through promoting transformational leadership and reducing employees’ work-life conflicts. Public relations practitioners should 1) help managers at different levels develop relationship-oriented, empowering, caring, and motivating transformational leadership style; 2) foster a culture of fair decision-making and justice through participation in strategic planning and organizational management processes; and 3) recognize employees’ demands and needs outside their work spectrum and provide support and resources (e.g., childcare, flexible working time, counseling, etc.).
Location of Article
This article is available online: (abstract free, purchase full article)

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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