Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Business Administration

Major Professor

Michael Lane Morris

Committee Members

Robert T. Ladd, Diane Mollenkopf, Anne Smith, E. Kate Atchley (Courtesy Member)

Abstract

Determining not only what makes people, but also how many people are, satisfied personally and with work has become an ongoing stream of research for both academics and practitioners. The idea of satisfaction is of such concern today that Gallup-Healthways conducts a survey, and reports, on the daily well-being of Americans (http://www.gallup.com/poll/106915/ gallup-daily-us-mood.aspx). Given the importance of satisfaction to individuals, organizations and society at large, it is imperative to understand the predictors and mediators of satisfaction. Research has been conducted on the negative (i.e., inverse) relationship between satisfaction and work/life conflict, as well as the positive relationship between coping and satisfaction. The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the interactions between work/life conflict (originating from both the work and family domains), problem-focused coping styles (i.e., problem-solving and communication skills) and life satisfaction. Additionally, mediational effects of coping on the well-documented relationship between work/life conflict and satisfaction were explored.

The data used in this study was archival in nature, coming from 491working professionals enrolled in an Executive MBA program at a Southeastern university. Using the transactional model of stress, this study established the single, second-order construct of work/life conflict, consisting of six (6) first-order constructs (i.e., WF Time, WF Strain, WF Behavior, FW Time, FW Strain, and FW Behavior). This new construct maintains the bi-directionality (i.e., WF and FW) supported by a litany of researchers (e.g., Anderson, et al., 2002; Boyar, et al., 2003; Carlson, et al., 2000; Kopelman, et al., 2003), while reflecting Frone, et al.’s (1992a, 1992b) contention that WFC and FWC conflict have an interactive, additive effect. Additionally, in answer to multiple calls in the literature (e.g., Allen, et al., 2000; Eby, et al., 2005; MacDermid, 2005; MacDermid & Harvey, 2006) to incorporate coping into work/life conflict research. This study found that problem-solving coping partially mediates the relationship between work/life conflict and life satisfaction. Communication coping was not found to mediate the relationship between work/life conflict and life satisfaction.

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