Work Life Balance Policies and Practices: Case studies of the Palestinian Telecommunication Sector
|Smith, Andrew J.
|Abubaker, Mahmoud A.J.
|AtkinsonThis study explores Work Life Balance (WLB) in two Palestinian organisations. It argues that the nature and content of WLB policies and the reasons for their adoption in many Arabic organisations differ from those in Western organisations. Additionally, research is under-developed concerning the role of line managers in interpreting access to WLB practices, and to what extent such WLB practices are accessed and utilised by individuals. Based on a qualitative approach, using semi-structured interviews with 49 employees and managers, this study shows that WLB policies involve, particularly for female employees, mainly family support, and financial, social, and religious benefits. These reflect cultural and religious characteristics of an Arab, Islamic country. In addition to identifying the role of government, and the needs of a female workforce, this study develops a new theoretical framework explaining the role of religious and cultural variables, as well as international networking of the organisations, as factors underlying adoption of WLB policies. Line managers often used Wasta, being the political and religious origin of individuals as criteria in granting benefits to individuals. WLB practices are useful for women, but males made less use of these practices, preferring strong ‘breadwinner Arabic cultural norms. A valuable contribution in understanding the extension of WLB policies in Arabic settings is offered, as well as cultural, social and religious reasons for their implementation. The study presents a theoretical model of the adoption and application of WLB policies which can be used in further crosscultural research.
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|Work Life Balance; Family-Friendly Policies; Flexible Working; Palestine; Telecommunication sector; Arab context; Cultural influence; Line manager
|Work Life Balance Policies and Practices: Case studies of the Palestinian Telecommunication Sector
|University of Bradford
|School of Management