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Final Proposal

Reuel Bautista
Dr. Erasmus Addae
ORGL 4341 Management Theory I
South Texas College

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Background
The United States government is extremely behind the rest of the developed world
concerning the topic of work-life policies. We are still behind 184 countries on paid maternity
leave. Work-life policies are business practices of creating flexible and supportive environments
for employees to maximize organizational performance. Programs under work-life policies
include Employee Assistance Programs, worksite health and wellness, workplace flexibilities,
telework, dependent care, and maternity/paternity leave. Developed countries all over the world
has greatly surpassed the United States in this aspect of organizational society. Countries like
France has introduced a 35-hour work week and has banned work-related emails after 6pm.
Scandinavian countries have recently implemented the 6-hour work day with great success as
well as having a sixteen-month parental leave with two months set aside for fathers.
Problem
Many difficulties have arose due to an improper work-life balance in the United States.
The number of stress-related disability claims and hospitalization by American employees has
doubled. 75 percent of physician visits are related to stress which has cost the industry anywhere
from $200 billion to $300 billion a year. The workplace has now become the single greatest
source of stress. Persistent stress affects the body both physiologically and psychologically.
Cardiovascular disease, sexual health problems, weak immune systems, headaches, muscle ache,
irritability, exhaustion, inability to concentrate, binge eating, smoking, increase in alcohol
consumption are all problems associated with persistent stress. In this country, simply working
hard is not enough and seventy-hour work weeks are practically the new standard. With longer
hours, time left for relationships, kids, and sleep is greatly jeopardized. When people are worked

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beyond their capabilities, organizations will pay the price in employee outputs and larger
employee turnovers.
Not only is this a stress-related issue but a gender conflict issue as well. Highly qualified
women are expected to put their careers on hold for the sake of being a mother. Stereotypes have
perceived working mothers as less competent and less worthy of leadership positions than
childless women. Corporations ideal worker does not accommodate the family lifestyle. Long
hours and the complete devotion to the job makes it difficult for working mothers to actively
participate in order to move up in the workplace. Maternity leave in organizations is considered
more as a benefit rather than an obligation by the companies. Teachers in the state of Texas do
not have maternity leave and are forced to use their paid days off after childbirth. With all these
factors, women have great trouble seeking positions of power within an organization if they are
forced to also deal with a family life.
Health issues and a gender inequality problem are facing this country due to improper
work-life balance implemented by our corporations and the capitalistic agenda of our
government.
Purpose/Goals
The purpose and goal of this proposal is to investigate flexible work-life policies
implemented by organizations and countries all over the world and the effects they have on
employee satisfaction, employee performance output, gender equality and company turnovers.
Research Questions
1. What type of work-life policies are being implemented in other organizations and other
countries?

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2. How does the implementation of work-life policies effect employees?


3. How does the implementation of work-life policies effect the companies?
4. How does the implementation of work-life policies effect gender equality in the
workplace?
Literature Review
As stated before, the United States has been far surpassed by most developed nations in
the topic concerning work-life policies. Scandinavian countries have shown to be proficient in
this aspect of government and organization as stated by OECD (2011). The OECD stands for the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is coalition of 34 countries as an
international economic organization. It was founded in 1961 to trigger economic progress and
world trade. It serves as a forum for countries committed to democracy and the market economy
to discuss policy experiences, identify good practices, and coordinate the domestic and
international policies of its members. The OECD rates all the Scandinavian countries among the
top seven in work-life balance proficiency. Countries in Northern Europe dominated the list as it
filled up almost all of the top ten spots. Northern Europe, especially Scandinavia, is well known
for its generous social safety nets and has found great success economically. These safety nets
include a strict 40 hour work-week limit, 25 days of paid holiday per year plus 16 days of public
holidays and 6 days with afternoon off. Sweden has recently implemented a six-hour work day
with great success in employee output and satisfaction. They spend about 63 percent of their day
(15.1 hours) on leisure time (sleeping, eating, personal, family, etc.) as opposed to the United
States fourteen hours. Sixteen months is given for paternal leave with two months set aside for
the father. The Nordic countries have seen a great fall in stress-related sickness since the
implementation of work-life policies. They have also gained a significant increase in
performance output and customer satisfaction. Nordic countries have since been a model for

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countries in terms of their organizational policies and economical decisions. They are among the
few countries that thrived during the 2008 recession and have since been a growing economic
power. (Antai, 2015)
Work-life policies are very common throughout the developed world except for the
United States. The OECD ranked us last of the countries included in OECD in terms of work-life
policies, however, several of our US-based companies have adopted flexible work-life balances.
Companies like Colgate, Google, Nokia, Johnson & Johnson, Walt Disney and Best Buy are
some of the companies that have shown proficiency in implementing work-life balance policies.
These companies provide adequate vacation time, flexible work hours, telecommute options, onsite child care, gym memberships, on-site dry cleaning pick-up, and many other benefits for the
sake of making their employees lives easier to prevent overstress and promote a positive
working environment. The employees have projected their satisfaction towards the working
conditions of these companies. Their work performance have increased despite shorter working
hours. Company turnovers have significantly reduced since the implementation of these policies.
(Nahavandi, 2012)
Nordic countries have consistently been champions of gender equality over the years. The
gap between the equitable income, resource and opportunities in these countries are narrower
than most other countries in the world. Nordic countries have a high female labor force, low
salary gaps between women and men, and abundant opportunities for women to rise to positions
of power. Sweden has 44.7 percent of women in parliament, Norwegian companies have at least
40 percent of women on their boards, and the other Nordic countries are almost as successful.
According to Khallash, the lesser strain in an individuals work life and with ample time during

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maternity leave, working mothers are freer to approach leadership status in organizations and
government.
According to Maslow (1943), we have certain needs that are innate to all humans. They
are broadly classified as physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualization.
They are placed in a pyramid with the lowest level being the most important. He proposes that
each of us are motivated by our needs. Work-life policies that provides some of these needs will
enable workers to concentrate better on their job and be more motivated to do better on their
jobs. Organizations need to understand that all employees have the desire to for personal time,
enjoy relationships, and spend time for themselves and their families.
Project Plan and Methodology
The methodology used will be gathering articles and research materials dealing with
work-life policies of different organizations and countries from across the world and their
respective outcomes after the implementation. I will then review these articles and combine the
related information into an articulated paper to explain the outcome of my study. I will also be
conducting a survey discussing relevant information regarding work-life band policies across
various organizations in the Mcallen/Edinburg area. With the survey, I attempt to define the
effects of work-life balance and the lack thereof in the local area. Based on the results of the
surveys and the research, a conclusion will be created and presented.
Resources Available
Resources available for the project include the library and the library online database
where I can find scholarly articles and literature pertaining to the subject. The various
organizations in the area also serve as resources available for the surveys to be conducted on.

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Conclusion
The study may hopefully show the relative effects of work-life policy and balance in
various organizations all around the world. Countries and organizations adopting work-life
policies are a great model for various other countries and companies. Whether they are
successful or not is extremely important for the future framework of various policies and laws.
Stress-related illnesses and gender inequality are major issues brought up in improper work-life
balances. This research can help alleviate and improve these problems by showing a correlation
between the policies and their various levels of success.
Potential Impact for Management and Organizational Leadership
The study can show the proper framework on how to properly run a country and
organization. By proving the positive worth of work-life policies, changes can occur with
governments and organizations all across the world. It is very important to show how a certain
model or theory of management and leadership operates and the benefits it allows. Work-life
policies are being adopted by more and more countries who are shying away from capitalistic
view of corporations.

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Reference
Antai D, Oke A, Braithwaite P, Anthony D. A 'Balanced' Life: Work-Life Balance and Sickness
Absence in Four Nordic Countries. International Journal Of Occupational & Environmental
Medicine [serial online]. October 2015;6(4):205-222. Available from: Academic Search
Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed December 4, 2015.
Work-Life Balance. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2015, from
http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/work-life-balance/
Nahavandi, A. (2012). The art and science of leadership. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Khallash S, Kruse M. The future of work and work-life balance 2025. Futures [serial online].
September 1, 2012;44(SPECIAL ISSUE: WELFARE FUTURES):678-686. Available from:
ScienceDirect, Ipswich, MA. Accessed December 4, 2015.
Maslow, A. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Classics in the History of Psycholog, (50).