When work is wanted after hours: Testing weekly stress of information communication technology demands using boundary theory

Young Ah Park, Yihao Liu, Lucille Headrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Information communication technologies (ICTs; e.g., smartphones) enable employees to work anywhere and anytime, blurring work and family boundaries. Building on this trend, this study draws from work–family border/boundary theory to examine antecedents and consequences of employees' weekly experiences of ICT demands (i.e., being accessible and contacted for work after hours via ICTs). A sample of 546 elementary teachers completed a registration survey and a weekly diary for 5 weeks. Multilevel modeling results suggest that ICT demands as a form of work intrusion in the home can constitute a source of significant weekly strain (i.e., negative rumination, negative affect, and insomnia). As border crossers, teachers' adoption of a technological boundary tactic (i.e., keeping work email alerts turned off on mobile phones) was related to lower weekly ICT demands. As important border keepers at work, school principals' work–family support was related to teachers' lower weekly ICT demands, whereas parents' after-hours boundary expectations were related to teachers' higher weekly ICT demands. Moreover, teachers' boundary control was found as a mediating mechanism by which the two border keepers influenced teachers' ICT demands−negative rumination link. That is, teachers who received fewer boundary expectations and/or more work–family support had greater boundary control, which in turn buffered the ICT demands–negative rumination relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-534
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • boundary control
  • boundary theory
  • ICT demands
  • stress
  • work–family support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'When work is wanted after hours: Testing weekly stress of information communication technology demands using boundary theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this