You are on page 1of 15



Quality of work life refers to the favorableness or unfavorableness of a job environment for
people. It refers to the quality of relationship between employees and the total working
environment. It is concerned with increasing labour management cooperatives to solve the
problems of improving organisational performance and employee satisfaction.


In the concept of Walton (1974: 12), quality of work life is defined as the meaningful life of the
employees with better living conditions or economic, social, and spiritual satisfaction which can
be measured by applying the 8 indicators of quality of life which are as follows:

℘ Adequate and fair compensation

℘ Safe and healthy working conditions

℘ Development human capacity

℘ Growth and security

℘ Social integration

℘ Constitutionalism

℘ Total life space

℘ Social relevance.

Werther and Davis (1982) said that the factors influencing the quality of work life are composed
of three factors, which includes

℘ Personal behavioral factor(age, experience, perception, attitude)

℘ Organisational factor(goals & objectives, management, job characteristic)

℘ Environmental factors(economic, social, cultural, administrative, technological)

Efraty and Sirgy (1990) conceptualized QWL in terms of “need satisfaction.” In their later
research, Sirgy et al. (2001, p. 242) define QWL as “employee satisfaction with a variety of
needs through resources, activities, and outcomes stemming from participation in the
workplace.” They proposed that QWL be measured in terms of employees' needs. Specifically,
seven dimensions of needs were suggested:

℘ Health and safety needs (protection from ill health and injury at work and outside of
work, and enhancement of good health);
℘ Economic and family needs (pay, job security, and other family needs);
℘ Social needs (collegiality at work and leisure time off work);
℘ Esteem needs (recognition and appreciation of work within and outside the organization);
℘ Actualization needs (realization of one's potential within the organization and as a
℘ Knowledge needs (learning to enhance job and professional skills); and
℘ Aesthetic needs (creativity at work as well as personal creativity and general aesthetics).

Hackmann and Suttle (1997: 7-14) suggested that quality of work life affects the job satisfaction
and feeling of affiliation towards the organisation while reducing the absenteeism and attrition
rate in the work place.

Quality of work life is important because it is considered as a supportive factor in motivating

employees to work (Promsuwan, S. 2000:32).


Quality of work life is defined as “a process of joint decision making, collaboration and building
mutual respect between management and employees”.


Quality of work life is “a process of work organization which enables its members at all levels to
actively participate in shaping the organisation’s environment, methods and outcomes. This
value based process is aimed towards meeting the twin goals of enhanced effectiveness of
organization and improved quality of life at work for employees”.

American Society Of Training And Development

Quality of work life is “the extent to which employees can enhance their personal lives through
their environment and experiences.”
BNET Business Dictionary

“Quality of work life is the degree to which work in an organisation contributes to material and
psychological well being of its members.”

Measuring Quality of Work Life

The following indices may be used to judge the quality of work life in an organisation:

• Job involvement

• Job satisfaction

• Sense of competence

• Job performance

• Productivity

• Job involvement:

It represents the degree of an individual’s identification with or ego

involvement in the job.

• Job satisfaction:

It implies the worker’s satisfaction with the environment of his job

environment consisting nature of work, quality of supervision, pay,
coworkers, opportunities for promotion, etc.

• Sense of competence:

It refers to the feelings of confidence that an individual has in his

own competence. Sense of competence and job involvement reinforce
each other.

• Job performance:
When an individual’s job involvement, job satisfaction and sense
of competence increase, there is a rise in job performance.

• Productivity:
When the level of job performance increases the output per unit of
input goes up. Thus match between job characteristics and productivity
traits of employees generally result in higher productivity.

Dimensions of Quality of Work Life

• Adequate and fair compensation

• Safe and healthy working conditions
• Opportunities to use and develop human capacities
• Opportunity for career growth
• Social integration in work force
• Constitutionalisation in the work organization
• Work and personal life
• Social relevance to work

Principles of Quality of Work Life

• The principle of security

• The principle of equity

• The principle of individualism

• The principle of democracy

Techniques to Improve Quality of work life

• Fair and equitable remuneration

• Reasonable stability of employment

• Employee health and safety programmes

• Alternative work schedules

• Participative management or self-managed teams

• Recognition of employees as human beings

• Congenial worker supervisor relations

• Grievance procedures and effective leadership

• Sound promotion policy and career development

• Management of employee stress

• Job redesign and enrichment.


Jean M. Twenge & Laura A. King (2004) conducted a research in relationship fulfillment
and work fulfillment in judgments of life quality. The samples of college students and
community adults are taken for this study. An experimental design varied a target’s sex, work
fulfillment, and relationship fulfillment .The results indicate that the relationship fulfillment is
the most important part of the lay concept of a good life.

Anusha Parshotam (2005), examined the quality of work life and career change among
online technical advisors. The study was exploratory in nature and was investigated through the
qualitative method of interview. The author concluded that all the technical advisors who were
interviewed found great satisfaction in making the change in career and this satisfaction spilled
over into their personal lives, be it with their family or their personal demeanor.
Kalayanee Koonmee, Anusorn Singhapakdi, Busaya Virakul & Dong-Jin Lee (2010),
investigated the association between institutionalization of ethics, quality of work life, and
employee job-related outcomes in the Thai work place. The data were collected by means of
questionnaires mailed to human resource managers of 514 Thai companies listed on the Stock
Exchange of Thailand. The findings of this research are generally consistent with those from
previous studies on institutionalization of ethics that implicit institutionalization of ethics is
shown to positively related to quality of work life and different job-related outcomes.

Thapelo Jacob Moloi (2007), conducted a research to test the Job Characteristics Model
(JCM) developed by Hackman and Oldham towards enhancing quality of work life. He selected
15 secondary schools with 12 educators, examined the level of the five core job dimensions (skill
variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback) also to establish the level of the
three critical psychological states (experienced meaningfulness of the work, experienced
responsibility for outcomes of the work and knowledge of the actual results of the work
activities), as well as the personal and work outcomes (only motivation and work performance),
all these in relation to race and gender. He found that the core job dimensions of educators’ job
be improved especially with regard to autonomy and feedback, which they should know whether
it is negative or positive.
Harry C. Katz, Thomas A. Kochan, Mark R. Weber (1985), accomplished a research to
assess the relationships among characteristics of industrial relations systems, efforts to improve
the quality of working life, and selected measures of organizational effectiveness. He has done
this study in 25 manufacturing plants belonging to one company. The empirical results proved
(1) strong evidence of an association between measures of the performance of industrial relations
systems and economic performance, and (2) evidence that efforts to improve quality of working
life have little impact on economic performance.
Mitchell w. Fields, James w. Thacker (1992), examined changes in union and
organizational commitment after the implementation of a joint union-management quality of
work life program. They noticed that the company commitment increased only when participants
perceived the quality of work life effort as successful, but union commitment increased
irrespective of the perception of quality of work life success.
Boas Shamir, Ilan Salomon (1985), as the emergence of innovations and developments in
the telecommunications technology there is a high possibilities of doing jobs in home itself
instead of going to office/work place. Implications of work-at-home arrangements for the
individual's quality of working life are researched and revealed several major aspects of the work
experience relevant to quality of working life. The differences along these aspects between
working at home and working at a normal workplace, and speculation about the possible
consequences for the individual of the transfer of jobs from employers' premises to employees'
Barry A. Macy, Philip H. Mirvis (1976), they developed a methodology (Standardized
definitions, measures, and costing methods) to assess the quality of work life in and
organizational effectiveness in behavioral economic terms. for behavioral outcomes. They were
utilized industrial engineering, accounting-work measurement, and behavioral concepts, also
identified and quantified the cost components of certain behaviors and arrives at a dollar figure
per incident and an estimated total cost over three years of measurement.

George Graen, James F. Cashman, Steven -Ginsburg, and William Schiemann (1977),
they were assessed the Effects of Linking-Pin Quality on the Quality of Working Life of Lower
Participants. They investigated over a period of 10 months and a panel of 103 managerial dyads
employed in service organizations were assessed at different times regarding the quality of their
upward linking pin the perceived effectiveness of the leader-member exchange between the
incumbents of linking-pin positions with their immediate superior and the behavior, attitudes,
and treatment of the lower participants. Finally they concluded that the state of the system may
determine where resources become invested.

Adrienne E. Eaton, Michael E. Gordon, and Jeffrey H. Keefe (1992), they investigated a
study pertinent to Quality of work life programs and grievance system effectiveness on union
commitment. Based on an analysis of data from a 1987 survey of four different bargaining units
within the same local union, the authors concluded that union members who participated in
quality of Work Life programs were less likely than nonparticipants to view quality of work life
as a threat to the union and also more loyal to the union. However, is that the perceived
effectiveness of the grievance procedure was a much powerful determinant of attitudes toward
the union than was participation in quality of work life programs leading and to speculate that
one way for unions to strengthen their ties with their members might be to improve the
effectiveness of the grievance procedure.
Prof. Rajib Lochan DHAR (2008), he divulged a qualitative study on quality of work
life: a study of municipal corporation bus drivers. Under his study he considered the quality of
work life of the bus drivers and the factors that lead to an imbalance, causing high probability of
road accident. He conducted this study with the help of fifteen bus drivers from four different
Pune Municipal Corporation bus depots, India. Finally he given some suggestions to quality of
work life of the drivers could be improved, thus, ultimately leading to better transport service to
the citizens and a reduction in the rates of accidents.
Mark H. Conklin, Shane P. Desselle (2007), conducted a research on Snapshot of
Pharmacy Faculty quality of Work Life and Productivity. Due to less literature on this area they
were revealed this study with the help of pharmacy faculties. They have identified that the
pharmacy faculties has less confidence on research and indicated areas of teaching. They
identified that the faculty reported only modest levels of commitment, satisfaction, and support,
with relatively high consensus among department colleagues on a number of teaching and
research issues. Finally they have concluded that much of the research productivity done by
minority of faculty and there must be a need for formalized mentoring programs, particularly for
females and pharmacy practice faculty.
Tung-Chun Huang, John Lawler, Ching-Yi Lei (2007), had conducted a research work on
The Effects of Quality of Work Life on Commitment and Turnover Intention. They had
examined the impact of quality of work life on auditors’ career and organizational commitment
in Taiwanese public accounting firms, and how those commitments, in turn, affect turnover
intention. Finally, revealed that different dimensions of quality of work life result in distinctive
effects on organizational and career commitments and turnover intentions.
Joanna E.M. Sale (2007), conducted a qualitative study on Perceptions of a Quality of
Work-Life Survey from the Perspective of Employees in a Canadian Cancer Centre. She
explored the perceptions of a quality of work-life survey from the perspective of 10 employees
from a variety of departments in a Canadian cancer centre. Also she has revealed the following
themes are emerged from the analysis: (1) talking about the survey triggered discussions of
quality of work life issues most of which were not captured in the survey; (2) the impact of the
survey was more important than the survey itself; and (3) participants were concerned that
departments or groups of employees were labeled based on the survey results.
Andy Danford, Mike Richardson, Paul Stewart, Stephanie Tailby and Martin Upchurch
(2008), they measured the effects of workplace partnership and selected high performance work
practices on four different dimensions of employee experience. At the same time as the
partnership–high performance work systems centers seems to have little impact on employees’
job satisfaction or sense of attachment, it does, however, have a negative impact on both
workplace stress and employee evaluations of union performance. Finally they had a questions
and common assumptions about the inevitability of ‘mutual gain’ and the necessity of
employer/union partnership.
Jean-Pierre Martel, Gilles Dupuis (2006), was presented a historical overview of the
concept of quality of work life. They consensus pertaining to the solutions that have been
developed to date, a new definition of quality of work life is suggested, inspired by the research
on a related concept, general Quality of Life (QOL) which, as the literature shows, has faced the
same conceptualization and definition problems as quality of work life. Based on the suggested
definition of QOL, a definition of quality of work life is provided and the measuring instrument
that results there from (the Quality of Working Life Systemic Inventory – QWLSI) is presented.
Finally, they given measuring instrument provided for the above-mentioned problems.

Alison M. Konrad, Robert Mangel (2000), examined the adoption of work-life programs
and the impact of work-life programs on firm productivity. They have collected the sample of
658 organizations provided survey data on firm characteristics and work-life programs. In these
658 organizations, the percentage of professionals and the percentage of women employed were
positively related to the development of more extensive work-life programs. Finally they have
seen that a significant interaction effects indicated in 195 firms out of 658 firms work-life
programs had a stronger optimistic impact on output when women comprised a larger percentage
of the workforce and when a higher percentage of professionals were employed.
Tom Koch (2000), considered the assumptions underlying prospective quality of life
instruments in an historical and contemporary context. It argues that as a tool in health planning
and in clinical decision making life quality as a measurement It concludes that to the degree now
current prospective instruments reflect a purely physical perspective of ``disease burden''
irrespective of social conditions they create a context that works against life quality, and in some
cases, the continuance of persons with physical differences.
Guna Seelan Rethinam (2008), reviewed the meaning of quality of work life, analyses
constructs of quality of work life based on models and past research from the perspective of IT
professionals in many countries and in Malaysia. The constructs of quality of work life discussed
are health and well-being, job security, job satisfaction, competency development, work and non-
work life balance. It has been concluded that quality of work life from the perspective of IT
professionals is challenging both to the individuals and organizations.

Cynthia A. Thompson (2002), designed to focus on the concerns that

employees and organizations have about employees’ ability to balance work-life demands. The
participants are asked to describe current or anticipated work-family or work-life balancing
concerns. It is concluded that, however, is that employee needs and interests are not necessarily
in opposition to the organization’s interests and that working together to resolve work-life
conflict can benefit both the employee and the organization.

Zeenobiyah Hannif, John Burgess & Julia Connell (2009), highlighted the concerns that
have surfaced regarding the quality of call centre work alongside the rapid expansion of this
market over the past decade. Finally, a qualitative research paradigm utilizing a job
characteristics approach to measuring job quality is put forth as the most appropriate means of
investigating the quality of work life, and addressing key gaps in the literature moving towards a
research agenda.
Kawai Chan & Thomas a. Wyatt(2007), examined quality of work life in China in terms
of how their work lives satisfy eight basic needs of employees and how the satisfaction of each
individual need in their work life affects employees’ job satisfaction, affective commitment,
turnover intention, life satisfaction and general well-being. A total of 319 questionnaires were
collected from eight organizations in Shanghai, China. The study makes a contribution to the
quality of work life literature in understanding the needs satisfaction at work in the Shanghai
area of China.
Una Byrne(2005), discussed the development of the concept of the ‘work-life balance’ as
a means of tackling the problem of increasing amounts of stress in the workplace as people try to
juggle a wide range of factors in their life/work environment, including: work, family, friends,
health, and spirit/self.
Elise Dallimore and Amy Mickel (2006), examined obstacles working professionals face
in their efforts to enhance quality of life including a discussion of the advice and employer
assistance they desire. A category of general-life issues (which bridge work and non-work
domains) also emerged from the data.
John W.Beasley, Ben-Tzion Karsh, Francois Sainfort, Mary Ellen Hagenauer & Lucille
Marchand (2004), conducted a survey in the quality of work life of family physician in
Wisconsin’s health care organisation. The survey was designed based on a literature review and
augmented by focus group data. The sample size was 1482 physicians. It was concluded that
some of Wisconsin’s health care organisations are doing better than others at working with their
family physicians to maximize their satisfaction with their organisation, reduce turnover and
enable them to reach their professional goals.

Raduan Che Rose, LooSee Beh, Jegak Uli and Khairuddin Idris (2006), examined to
predict quality of work life in relation to career-related dimensions. The sample consists of 475
managers from the free trade zones in Malaysia for both the multinational corporations and the
small-medium industries. The result indicates that three exogenous variables are significant:
career satisfaction, career achievement and career balance, with 63% of the variance in quality of
work life.
Hanita Sarah Saad, Ainon Jauhariah Abu Samah and Nurita Juhdi (2008), reviewed to
find out about the employee’s perception of their work-life quality in the university. 251
employees in the university are taken as sample for the research. Ten variables to measure
quality work life are examined namely support from organization, work-family conflict,
relationship with peers, self competence, impact on job, meaningfulness of job, optimism on
organizational change, autonomy, access to resources and time control. All these variables are
tested the relationship with job satisfaction. The test indicated that each of the quality work life
variables on its own is a salient predictor of job satisfaction.

C.B.Gupta, human resource management, ISBN 81-8054-141-X, 2005

Jean M. Twenge, Laura A. King, a good life is a personal life: relationship fulfillment
and work fulfillment in judgments of life quality, journal of research in personality, 39, 2005,, pg.336–353
Anusha Parshotam, quality of work life and career change among online technical
advisors, School of Human and Community Development, Private Bag 3, Wits 2050,
Johannesburg, South, 2005
Kalayanee Koonmee, Anusorn Singhapakdi, Busaya Virakul & Dong-Jin Lee, Ethics
institutionalization, quality of work life, and employee job-related outcomes: A survey of human
resource managers in Thailand, Journal of Business Research 63 (2010) 20–26
Thapelo jacob moloi, testing hackman & oldham's theory of enhancing the quality of
work life of employees the international journal of diversity in organisations, communities and
nations, volume 7, number 3, 2007,, issn 1447-9532

Harry C. Katz, Thomas A. Kochan, Mark R. WeberSource, Assessing the Effects of

Industrial Relations Systems and Efforts to Improve the Quality ofWorking Life on
Organizational Effectiveness, The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Sep.,
1985), pp. 509-526,, 09/10/2010 09:13

Mitchell W. Fields and James W. ThackerSource, Influence of Quality of Work Life on

Company and Union Commitment, The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Jun.,
1992), pp. 439-450,, 09/10/2010 09:26

Boas Shamir and Ilan Salomon, Work-at-Home and the Quality of Working Life, The
Academy of Management Review, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Jul., 1985), pp. 455-464,, 09/10/2010, 09:12

Barry A. Macy and Philip H. Mirvis, A Methodology for Assessment of Quality of Work
Life and Organizational Effectiveness in Behavioral-Economic Terms, Administrative Science
Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jun., 1976), pp. 212-226,,
09/10/2010, 09:17

George Graen, James F. Cashman, Steven Ginsburg, William Schiemann, Effects of

Linking-Pin Quality on the Quality of Working Life of Lower Participants, Administrative
Science Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Sep., 1977), pp. 491-504, Johnson Graduate School of
Management, Cornell University,, 09/10/2010, 09:17

Adrienne E. Eaton, Michael E. Gordon, Jeffrey H. Keefe, The Impact of Quality of Work
Life Programs and Grievance System Effectiveness on Union Commitment, Industrial and
Labor Relations Review, Vol. 45, No. 3 (Apr., 1992), pp. 591-604, Cornell University, School
of Industrial & Labor Relations,, 09/10/2010, 09:26
Prof. Rajib Lochan DHAR, Quality of work life: A study of municipal corporation bus
drivers, The Journal of International Social Research, Volume 1/5 Fall 2008, pp.251-273

Mark H. Conklin, Shane P. Desselle, Snapshot of Pharmacy Faculty Quality of Work

Life and Productivity, Journal of Pharmacy Teaching, Vol. 14(1) 2007,, The Haworth Press, Inc. pp.53-77.

Tung-Chun Huang, John Lawler, Ching-Yi Lei, The Effects of Quality of Work Life on
Commitment and Turnover Intention, SOCIAL BEHAVIOR AND PERSONALITY, 2007, 35
(6), 735-750, © Society for Personality Research (Inc.)

Joanna E.M. Sale, Perceptions of a Quality of Work-Life Survey from the Perspective of
Employees in a Canadian Cancer Centre, Quality & Quantity (2007) 41:779–791 © Springer
Andy Danford, Mike Richardson, Paul Stewart, Stephanie Tailby and Martin Upchurch,
Partnership, high performance work systems and quality of working life, New Technology,
Work and Employment, Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, ISSN 0268-

Jean-Pierre Martel, Gilles Dupuis, quality of work life: theoretical and Methodological
problems, and presentation of a new model and Measuring instrument, Social Indicators
Research (2006) 77:333–368 _ Springer 2006, DOI 10.1007/s11205-004-5368-4
Alison M. Konrad, Robert Mangel, The impact of work-life programs on firm
productivity, Strategic Management Journal, pp.1225-1237 , Copyright John Wiley & Sons, Ltd,
Tom Koch, Life quality vs the `quality of life': assumptions underlying prospective
quality of life instruments in health care planning, Social Science & Medicine 51 (2000)
419±427, University of British Columbia, Department of Geography, 1984 West Mall,
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2
Guna Seelan Rethinam, constructs of quality of work life: a perspective of information
and technology professionals, European journal of social sciences – volume 7, number 1 (2008)

Cynthia A. Thompson, Managing the Work-Life Balancing Act: An Introductory

Exercise, Journal of Management Education 2002; 26; 205, DOI:
10.1177/105256290202600206, Vol. 26 No. 2, April 2002 205-220 © 2002 Sage Publications
Zeenobiyah Hannif, John Burgess & Julia Connell, call centres and the quality of work
life: towards a research agenda, DOI: 10.1177/0022185607087902 JIR 2008; 50; 271, april 24,
Kawai Chan & Thomas a. Wyatt, quality of work life: a study of employees in shanghai,
china, asia pacific business review vol. 13, No. 4, 501–517, october 2007

Una Byrne, work-life balance: why are we talking about it at all?, business information
review 2005; 22; 53, DOI: 10.1177/0266382105052268, vol. 22(1): 53–59, 2005

Elise Dallimore and Amy Mickel, quality of life: obstacles, advice, and employer
assistance DOI: 10.1177/0018726706062759 volume 59(1): 61–103, 2006

John W.Beasley, Ben-Tzion Karsh, Francois Sainfort, Mary Ellen Hagenauer & Lucille
Marchand, quality of work life of family physician in wisconsin’s health care organisation,
wisconsin medical journal 2004, volume 103, no.7

Raduan Che Rose, LooSee Beh, Jegak Uli and Khairuddin Idris, quality of work life:
implications of career dimensions, Journal of Social Sciences 2 (2): 61-67, 2006 ISSN 1549-

Hanita Sarah Saad, Ainon Jauhariah Abu Samah And Nurita Juhdi, employees’
perception on quality work life and job satisfaction in a private higher learning institution,
international review of business research papers, vol. 4 No.3 June 2008 Pp.23-34