14 December 2018

Research pick: Work-family balance - "Work-family conflict and intention to quit: the mediating role of emotional dissonance"

The work-life balance and juggling family can lead to emotional turmoil for those who find themselves unable to resolve the conflicting demands of work and family. A research team in India has now looked surveyed 346 employees from 93 organisations in order to ascertain whether “emotional dissonance” caused by work-family conflicts correlates with a person’s intention to quit their employment.

Subhash Kundu and Nidhi Gaba of the Haryana School of Business, at Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, in Hisar, Haryana, India, explain how they used multiple regression analysis on the data to test their hypothesis. Writing in the International Journal of Business and Globalisation, they describe how the analysis shows that the conflict between work and family life has a positive and statistically significant influence on a person’s intention to quit. Critically, they showed that emotional dissonance is a key mediating factor in this regard.

Longer working hours, more rigid targets, mobile computing, and other factors and the change in the structure of families from single earners to dual-career couples as well as increased pressure from urbanization and longer-lived older family members are putting many people under new kinds of pressure and stress. There is even specifically on those in employment not only to perform well in their jobs but also to be successful in terms of a family too. But work demands and family demands are very different and pull people in two different directions commonly leading to conflict and what psychologists might refer to as emotional dissonance that a lay person might simply perceive as stress.

New insights into how emotional dissonance arises because of this almost ubiquitous work-family conflict could help policymakers and managers cope better with a changing world and to help retain a happy and less conflicted workforce.

Kundu, S.C. and Gaba, N. (2018) ‘Work-family conflict and intention to quit: the mediating role of emotional dissonance’, Int. J. Business and Globalisation, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp.464–483.

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