Third AIMS International Conference on Management January 1-4, 2006

24 Hours Banking: Business Deal or Business Dilemma

Pushpendra Priyadarshi, Vikram Venkateswaran, Vimal Chawla
Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad-01, ,
Issues and interactions between work-family, work-life, work-nonwork have drawn attention of researchers and
practitioners for long as they influence a variety of work-related attitudes and behaviors of both personal and
organizational relevance. The paper discusses the impact of recently introduced extended service hours on
work-life of the banking sector employees. The research conducted on two Indian Banks draws responses from
seventy respondents through structured interview schedule. It is insightful to see their understanding of this new
initiative and its impact on the business. A comparative analysis of the result provides critical understanding for
the policy makers and implementers.
Keywords: Worklife Balance, job satisfaction, gender role,

I. Introduction

The definition of work family conflict is based on the integration of the inter-role conflict concept. When
conflict is due to two or more roles held by the same person, inter-role conflict exists, although as Katz and
Kahn (1978, p. 204) noted, these conflicts take us “outside the immediate boundaries of the organization”. At
the individual level work-family conflict is predictive of emotional exhaustion, depression, cardiovascular
illness (Bedeian, Burke, & Muffett, 1988; Frone, Russell, & Cooper, 1997), lowered job and life satisfaction
(Kossek & Ozeki, 1998), stress (Allen, Herst, Bruck & Sutton, 2000; Ray & Miller, 1994; Thomas & Ganster,
1995) and increasing intention to quit jobs (Adams, King & King, 1996; Frone, Russell, & Cooper, 1992). At
organisational level the inability to balance work, family and community causes reduced work performance
(Grover & Crooker, 1995; Kossek & Nichol, 1992; Kossek & Ozeki 1999), higher employee turnover
(Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985), lower organizational commitment (Boles, J ohnson, & Hair, 1997) poor morale
(Duxbury & Higgins, 1998) and absenteeism (Goff, Mount, & J amison, 1990) which in a way affects
organisational performance. Although work-family dynamics has got attention from researchers from 1970s
with the advent of feminism movement and women’s labour force participation, the research has been growing
probably at an all time high for the past 20 years (Siegel, Brochner, & Fishman, 2005) because of the changing
context characterized by increased dual career couples in the work force, changing family structure and
changing nature of work and workplaces.

The increase in the working hours of employees worldwide, growing use of alternative work arrangements such
as flexi time and telecommuting (Siegel, Brochner, & Fishman, 2005) has given a new direction to
organizational researchers at this front. At the organizational end, the drive to become more economically
competitive in the global marketplace has led organisations to take strategic management initiatives like
downsizing, outsourcing, putting a greater emphasis on flexible production. Organizational flexibility has been
pursued at the expense of workers’ flexibility by putting them on work for long hours, frequent overtime,
demanding work and inflexible work schedules, and asking them to be available on a "24/7" basis (Spector et
al., 2004). As a result the boundary between work and family and other non-work places has become more
blurred resulting in heightened work-family-community conflict. Demographic shifts in workforce, economic
trend, technological advances and competitive forces also have contributed to a workforce that is increasingly
experiencing work-life conflict (Friedman, Christensen, & DeGroot, 1998).

Previous research in the area of work life balance of individuals and the unique effects of work interfering with
family and family interfering with work on job satisfaction has tried to capture following dimension: (a)
controlling for family, personal, and job characteristics of late hour working individuals, (b) employing cross-
sectional and longitudinal methods, and (c) predicting job satisfaction. Consistent with previous research, work
interfering with family was related to job satisfaction cross- sectionally for men and women, and this effect
existed beyond negative mood, job autonomy and monotony, and family interfering with work. When predicting
a change in job satisfaction a year later, and when using spouse rating of the target’s work interfering with
family, it was predictive of women’s job satisfaction but not men’s, which is consistent with gender role theory.
The fact that work interfering with family predicted job satisfaction for women beyond affective and job
characteristic variables, over time, and with non-self reported measures, provides more confidence in this

Third AIMS International Conference on Management January 1-4, 2006

directional relationship than could previously be assumed. We have discussed the societal and managerial
implications of these changes.

J ob satisfaction remains one of the focal point of organisational research and the relationship of worklife and job
satisfaction too has been studied in great detail. J ob satisfaction is ‘an internal state of mind’ that is expressed by
cognitive evaluation of an experienced job with some degree of favor or disfavor’. There are many known
influencers of job satisfaction such as job characteristics and the disposition of the employee. Is it important that
the broader perception of inter-role conflict should influence this work attitude? In March and Simon’s (1958)
classic model of job satisfaction, they concluded that job satisfaction was influenced by the compatibility of the
work requirements with other roles. Given that work and family roles are the two most important life roles for
most people, an incompatibility between them is likely to create negative tension and disruptive feelings.
Because attitudes are directed toward a target, the question then becomes why and when would this
incompatibility create negative attitudes toward the job? The extent to which one’s job is appraised as satisfying
or dissatisfying may depend on the extent to which the job is seen as threatening to other self-relevant roles.
When self-relevant roles (i.e. roles that define our identity) are threatened, we appraise the source of threat in a
negative way. This suggests that the direction of work life conflict is important when predicting relationships
with job outcomes. Although both directions of work life conflict may contribute to a sense of stress in both
domains, the sense that one role is interfering with the other should produce a negative appraisal of the source of
the threat (Lazarus, 1991) provided that the ‘victimized’ role is self-relevant. In light of these ideas, we discuss
the bidirectionality of work life conflict and gender role theory.

I. a Bidirectionality of Work Life Conflict

Work life conflict has generally been recognized as bidirectional, that is, work can interfere with family (work
interfering with family) and family can interfere with work. An intriguing idea is that these two roles have
differential permeability – family roles tend to be less structured and formalized and, thus, more permeable to
other role requirements. The evidence supports this idea. In general, work interfering with family is reported
more frequently than family interfering with work. To the extent that the family role is part of the person’s
identity and is valued, perceiving that work is draining time and energy needed for the family role (work
interfering with family) may produce a sense of threat to one’s self. Work interfering with family suggests that
work is attributed as the source of this interference, and so the employee develops a negative attitude toward the
job. Should the extent to which family interferes with work (family interfering with work) also predict job
satisfaction? We argue that this is less likely because family interfering with work represents a perception that
the family is viewed as a threat to work time and energy and, thus, is more likely to be a predictor of attitudes
about the family. In this study, we discovered various job attitudes, and based on these ideas of attribution and
self-threat, we propose that work interfering with family is a stronger predictor than family interfering with

I. b Gender Role Theory

Consistent with our study, one of the early work life conflict theoretical articles proposed that work life conflict
is ‘intensified when the work and family roles are salient or central to the person’s self-concept and when there
are strong negative sanctions for noncompliance with role demands’ (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985, p. 77).
According to gender role theory, women are more likely to see the family role as part of their social identity
than men do (Bem, 1993; Gutek, Searle, & Klepa, 1991). Moreover, as women’s roles in the workplace have
increased, the expectations placed upon them in the family role have not diminished (Hochschild, 1999; Schor,
1991). Thus, when work impinges on family demands (work interfering with family), women are more likely
than men to develop a negative attitude toward the work because the job is more likely to be viewed as
threatening a central social role. On the other hand, men are unlikely to use this information to form work
attitudes, according to gender role theory, because they are less likely to experience a threat to self if the job
interferes with family time. This is not to say that men do not find work interfering with family unpleasant, but
rather that perceptions of work interfering with family are less likely to lead to attributions of blame because the
interference is less damaging to social identity and, thus, less self-threatening (Lazarus, 1991). Alternatively,
when dual-earner couples are common and women make up between 30% and 40% of the workforce and
approaches the 50% mark, we might imagine that the context-specific role expectations for men and women
have changed. In the current study it was found that college students have been gradually less likely to endorse
traditional gender role views about work and family. In fact, the extent of work interfering with family and
family interfering with work have been found to be similar for men and women, despite gender role theory
hypotheses that women experience more work interfering with family and men more family interfering with
work. In contrast, perhaps men and women do not differ in their reactions to work life conflict – perhaps when

Third AIMS International Conference on Management January 1-4, 2006

both partners are working, they will equally resent their jobs if work interferes with family (work interfering
with family) and appreciate their jobs if this is not the case. Consistent with gender role theory, several studies
have supported the proposition that the relationship between global work life conflict and job satisfaction is
stronger for women than for men. This may be spurious, however, because work characteristics may be different
for women than for men on average, influencing both work life conflict and lower job satisfaction. In fact, other
studies have not found any gender difference in the relationship of work–family conflict (work life conflict) and
work outcomes (Frone et al.,1992a; Parasuraman et al., 1992), supporting an instrumental approach rather than
gender role theory (Gutek et al., 1991).

I. c Work-Role Expectations

Recently, Thompson et al. (1999) examined three dimensions of work-family culture and their relationships
with work-family conflict. The three dimensions were managerial support for work family balance, career
consequences associated with utilizing work-family benefits, and the dimension of prime interest for this study,
which is an organizational time expectation that may interfere with family responsibilities. These were
expectations that employees should place their work demands ahead of their family demands. Thompson et al.
(1999) found that when employees perceived that they had fewer organizational time demands that interfered
with family life, their work-family conflict was lower. Work-family conflict was also reported to be lower with
employees who worked fewer hours. Finally, even with the number of hours worked controlled for, the cultural
dimension of organizational time demands and expectations explained additional variance in work-family
conflict. The authors speculated that this type of culture may require employees to be preoccupied with their
work role even while trying to meet the demands of the family role, and may thus cause additional work family
conflict beyond that expected from the actual hours worked. Rutherford (2001), in her review of work on gender
and organizational culture, noted that an organizational culture, which supports long working hours, has an
indirect effect on women in the workplace. When organizations have expectations of long working hours for
senior management positions, women are less likely and able to comply with those expectations, because they
do not have as much access to the resource of time that men do. This is due to the fact that women carry primary
responsibility for childcare and other “home work”. Longer working hours are difficult to take on when the
pressures already exist for women trying to balance work and family. Building on the work conducted by
Thompson et al. (1999) and Rutherford (2001), we believed it would be important to examine the influence of
an organizational culture in the Banking sector with the increased working hours and high work-role demands.
We studied an organizational culture with high work-role demands with Cooke and Rousseau’s (1984) work-
role expectations variable on the individual level. As Dirks and Ferrin (2002) have noted, direct leaders or
supervisors must communicate and implement the policies that could be directly given to employees by their
supervisors. Cooke and Rousseau (1984) defined work-role expectations as expectations on the part of superiors
and co-workers (part of an employee’s role set), “to expand one’s work activities beyond the normal working
day” (Cooke and Rosseau, 1984, p. 254). These expectations would indicate a lack of sensitivity to the
employees’ family responsibilities, if their superiors and co-workers expected them to work when they normally
would be home. Cooke and Rousseau’s (1984) study found that work overload is directly related to expectations
stemming from work. Work expectations had a positive relationship with work/non-work inter-role conflict,
which led to physical strain. It should be noted that their work/non-work inter-role conflict variable could be
interpreted as total work family conflict.

I. d Managerial Implications

As the pressure to balance work and family becomes more prevalent in today’s business environment,
organizations and their leaders should be aware of the roles they can take to help their employees achieve work-
family balance. Conditions such as downsizing, which often lead to increased workload expectations, may
contribute to increased turnover levels as emotional exhaustion has been linked with reported intentions to leave
jobs (Burke et al.,1984; J ackson and Maslach, 1982). Other researchers have positively linked work-family
conflict with job burnout Bacharach et al., 1991;Burke, 1988; Kinnunen and Mauno, 1998;Netemeyer et al.,
1996). A recent survey of family-friendly corporate policies (Hammonds et al., 1997) found that corporate
culture seems to dictate work-family balance more than almost anything else. It is critical that top leaders visibly
support that family-friendly corporate culture. Beehr (1995) believes that social support from work-related
sources may be more important in the occupational stress process than support from non-work related sources.
One of the sub dimensions of work family culture was managerial support for work family balance; this was
found to be positively associated with less turnover intention. Many researchers on work family conflict have
showed that supervisors’ understanding of subordinates’ family demands may lead to positive impacts on

Third AIMS International Conference on Management January 1-4, 2006

employees’ job satisfaction, job performance, and organizational commitment. It is important to look for
alternative solutions to alleviate work family conflict, and to examine if any of those solutions are working to
alleviate the stress levels of employees. Some organizations have begun to implement non-traditional
approaches to jobs, such as part-time and shared jobs, flexible schedules and compressed work week.

II. Objective

This study was aimed to understand the issues and dimensions of worklife balance in general. I the process we
tried to understand the implication of various changes taking place in market, the organisations response to it
and the subsequently employees perception and the management of such changes. Specifically we attempted to
know the perception of the employees about extended working hours of selected banks (which have increased
the working hours to respond to these changes) and its impact on worklife balance, productivity and attitude
towards the change.

III. Methods

The study was exploratory in nature. In all 100 respondents were contacted for the study out of which 70
responses were found suitable. The respondents, fulltime employees of the bank, were selected on convenience
from both the banks situated in NCR Delhi. The respondents represent employees across age groups, gender,
hierarchy and functional groups. For the purpose of data collection a structured interview schedule was
prepared to capture their perception about the impact of change in working hours on worklife balance,
productivity and their response to it. The sample represents both public sector bank and a private sector bank of
comparable size. The services offered by both the banks are identical as they have been into retail, insurance,
credit card and other businesses. The banks were selected keeping in mind the changes brought about by both
the banks and also the nature of the organisation (private and public). On the request of the bank their
anonymity has been maintained and they have been presented as Case 1 for Public Sector Bank and Case 2 for
Private Sector Bank.

IV. Result and Discussion

IV a Attitude towards extended working hours
1 2 3
23% Negative
1 2 3

Fig 1 Attitude towards extended working hours

In the Case 1(a large Public Sector Bank) 38% of the respondents were averse to the changes in the work
timings being introduced. Whereas 23% considered it to be a positive move by the company and reacted
accordingly. Though, 39% were indifferent to the changes. With Case 2 (a large Private Sector Bank) 60% of
the employees held positive outlook towards the changes in the timing. They were positive and thought this will
bring new business to the organisation thus adding to the revenue. 17% of them are not happy about the changes
while close to 25 % respondents were indifferent to the change. What is important to understand here is that the
survey shows the perception of the employees in case 2 bank where respondent felt it was essential to have
extended hours in the bank. So much so they remained motivated as it was justified for the organisation to do so
to remain competitive.

Third AIMS International Conference on Management January 1-4, 2006

The scores explain that the private sector bank (case 1) held positive outlook to the situation in comparison with
public sector bank (case 2). A sizeable number with case 1 did not feel positive to the change. The reasons could
be lack of competition, non- performance based HR policies etc leading to inertia creeping among the workers.
Both the factors are complementing to each other. If the employee is not positive to these changes the
anticipation of increased productivity can never be there.

IV b Worklife Balance-
No change
1 2 3
No change
1 2 3

Fig2 Perception about the affect of extended working hours on Worklife Balance

With Case 1 it was observed that 80% of the respondents felt that their work life balance has been affected with
the introduction of the new work timings. Among them 67% of found it difficult to strike a balance between
work and social/family life. Rest 13% has seen an improvement in work- life balance post introduction of new
timings. On the other side in case of Case 2 (a large private sector bank) majority of the respondents feel that
their work-life balance has been affected. However, a significant 33% of them feel that their work-life balance
has improved after the implementation of new working timings. That is to say for the majority the extended
working hours had neutral to positive impact i.e. the reaction of the family was positive, amount of time spent
with the family was not disturbed, their social life wasn’t affected and they were able to meet their social
commitment. Rest of the 27% went off balance in their work-life co-ordination.

In case of case 1 mounting pressure on employees to perform and demand to give more to remain competitive
on side and the inertia among employees on the other side might just be the critical factor behind the negative
outlook held by them. A lot of it has also to do with the way organisation has organized their working hours to
suit their compelling personal need contributes to their perception about the initiative.

IV c Extended working hours and productivity

No Change
1 2 3
47% Increased
No Change
1 2 3

Fig 3 Perception the affect of extended working hours on about Productivity

This initiative impacted the performance of 80% of the employees of public sector bank where 33% of them felt
their productivity has improved while 47% of them perceived it to cause adverse effect. With case 2, the picture

Third AIMS International Conference on Management January 1-4, 2006

was almost opposite as 47% of them felt that with the changes brought they are able to contribute more to
overall productivity of their bank. Where as 23% see it as a reason for reduction in their efficiency in work. It is
notable that 30 % here still feel that this initiative had no impact.

To understand productivity we studied employees feeling about the client satisfaction, increased business of
their branch, perception about their own contribution to organisational productivity etc. majority of the
indicators showed positive picture for case 2 when data was compared.

V. Conclusions

This study is a reflection of the impact of the organisation’s response to the competitiveness and employees
perception of such kind of changes. The study has encapsulated various aspects of attitude of the employees,
their perception of the impact on worklife balance and also increase in the productivity. The study reflects the
difference in the perception of the employees of private sector bank and public sector bank. This study showed
that the response and perception about worklife issues is mediated by factors like employees’ willingness to give
additional effort for the organisation, perception of the necessity of the situation and willingness adjust
according to the demands of the work. As in most studies, the present study may be seen as having limitations
with the sample, the measures, and the analyses. The sample was randomly sampled but is limited to married,
working individuals living in a certain region of the India. To create the positive climate for such kind of change
the employees would need to be oriented towards such changes apart from understanding the business
requirement. Those who remained neutral in the process do pose challenge which requires positive business
result of such initiative to actually contribute maximally.
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