Relationship Between Perceived Organizational Support & Work-family Enrichment: Role of Emotional Regulation.

AuthorMatapurkar, Rujuta


For decades, the researchers have studied the relationship between paid employment and family to learn its effects on outcomes in workplace as well as family. However, how researchers define work-family interaction has evolved in line with the socio-economic changes. Greenhaus and Powell (2006) defined work-family enrichment (WFE) as the extent to which resources generated in one role improve the quality of life in the other role. This concept has remained crucial for work-family research. Studies indicate that WFE is significant to ensure positive work-family interaction. Hence, WFE has caused an awareness across numerous Western and Asian economies (Rastogi & Chaudhary, 2018).

There is growing research indicating that engaging in work and family roles generates various resources which improve performance and quality of life in work as well as family life (Kalliath, 2014; Chan et al., 2016). Research has shown that enrichment affects work and family outcomes (McNall et al., 2010; Chan et al., 2016). Presence of WFE leads to superior job performance (Carlson et al., 2011; Karatepe and Bekteshi, 2008) and job satisfaction (Balmforth & Gardner, 2006; Bhargava & Baral, 2009; Smith et al., 1969; Karatepe & Bekteshi, 2008; Nicklin & McNall, 2011; Wayne et al., 2006). Organizational citizenship behavior is another work performance indicator positively related to WFE (Balmforth & Gardner, 2006; Bhargava & Baral, 2009).

Research on WFE in the Indian context is scant. India is the second most populous country of the world. In addition, India has low operational and labor costs and an abundant skilled workforce. Due to this, it is a global outsourcing hub. Additionally, because of recent developmental changes, such as foreign direct investments, mergers, and acquisitions, India has been catapulted to a changedriven economy (Rastogi & Chaudhary, 2018). Notably, findings from studies conducted in Western or other Asian countries cannot be generalized in the Indian context due to varying cultural perceptions regarding work and family (Chen et al., 2009). India has a collectivist culture and family plays a more significant role than work in an individual's life (Rastogi & Chaudhary, 2018). Moreover, many socio-demographic and economic changes are occurring in India. Factors such as a high literacy rate, increasing awareness about the role of gender equality, rising number of gender-neutral industries, women's career aspirations, and improvement in educational and employment opportunities have resulted in an increased number of women in the workforce, and hence, an increase in dual-earner families (Baral & Bhargava, 2011).

Studies on work-family interaction are performed at an individual level considering constant variables such as dispositional characteristics and demographic differences (Eby et al., 2005). A definite disadvantage of almost all the approaches that study work and family is the unavailability of any actionable knowledge or guidance for the individuals or managers who want to advance their WFE experience. Actionable advice can enable individuals to make informed choices about practical problems. This can help them further to implement solutions to these problems effectively. Individuals are not robots that react to the challenging situations according to how they are programmed. They, with their emotions, play a crucial role in influencing work-family outcomes (Kreiner et al., 2009). In this study, we addressed this gap by considering emotional regulation in relation to enrichment. Emotional regulation entails prolonging the positive effects, thus reducing the duration of the adverse effects (Gross, 1998).

Research on WFE has focused on organizational-level interventions, including many macro level rather than individual level variables, such as work-life balance policies and job characteristics. These variables are positively related to WFE and facilitate their implementation in organizations (Baral & Bhargava, 2010; 2011; Bhargava & Baral, 2009). However, the results of the effects of such policies are varying and indicate a only partial influence on employees' work-family experiences (Lambert & Kossek, 2004). Thus, although provisions available at the organizational level attempt to encourage employees' work-family positive spillovers, these are insufficient to ensure WFE for all employees.

Greenhaus and Powell (2006), proposed five different resources that can be generated in one role and can aid in improving quality of life/performance in the other role. They define a resource as an asset that can be drawn on when needed to solve a problem or cope with a challenging situation. They mention that WFE is said to occur with the help of one or most of the five types of resources that can be generated in a role: skills and perspectives, psychological and physical resources, social-capital resources, flexibility, and material resources. The material resources could be financial remuneration; skills resources could be skills acquired while in the role like inter-personal skills, time management skills. The physical and/ or psychological resources could be self-esteem, positive affect. The social-capital resources could be networks developed while in the j ob role which continue to help in the family life as well.

The psychological resource would comprise individual's emotions and the state of mind as a result of these emotions. This could be explained as the positive emotion generated at work place due to praise received from supervisor in the employee carrying that positive emotion to family resulting in improving the quality of family life. Similarly, the stress or conflict at work would result in the employee carrying that negative emotion to family thus deteriorating the quality of life in the family.

The significance of emotional expression in both work and family life, as well as the influence on health outcomes, is gaining prominence (Fisher & Ashkanasy, 2000). The ability to control, suitably present, and manage one's emotions is related to effective functioning within the family and work spheres. However, this aspect of emotional regulation has not been examined in the literature (Giardini and Frese, 2006). Moreover, the research on the emotional experience of work and family life usually focuses on its negative aspects (Eby et al., 2010; Judge et al., 2006). Experiences in the family domain are the most crucial source of contentment and emotional well-being. Therefore, it is essential to link emotions by using constructive facets of workfamily interactions (Greenhaus & Powell, 2006). Emotional expression is a critical constituent in both work and family life as emotions can affect health outcomes and facilitate the understanding of organizational behavior. Surprisingly, studies focusing on this aspect are scant (Fisher & Ashkanasy, 2000). The objective of this study is to address how emotional regulation affects the relationship between perceived...

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