tion in the literature. Our results show
WFC is markedly higher on weekdays
than weekends and, more important,
fluctuates on weekdays. Our comparison of the two types of WFC shows
the dynamics of strain-based conflict
is more pronounced than time-based
conflict on weekdays. Interestingly, we
found strain-based conflict reaches its
lowest point on Wednesdays. We also
found the relationships between WFC
and job and family satisfaction, suggesting that, while people may adapt
to the inherent conflict between work
and family activity due to the flexibility
of work place and time, they also feel
dissatisfaction from connecting with
work during non-work hours.
The social-media analytics we employed address the limitations of survey methods dominating traditional
WFC studies. High-volume, high-ve-locity Twitter data provides a dynamic,
fine-grain view of individuals’ behavior
in a naturally occurring setting that
serves as an ideal testbed for understanding WFC.
This research can be improved and
continue in several directions. Tracking a larger number of Twitter users
over a longer period of time would improve the general applicability of the
findings. In addition, some jobs have
distinctive busy and off-peak seasons.
In view of country differences in work-family time10 and workweek,
11 WFC outside the U.S. deserves its own separate
investigations. Alternative techniques
should be explored to improve extracting work- and family-related topics and
mood from social-media data. And resolving multiple online identities for
the same Twitter users can help refine
the findings of our study.
We thank the reviewers for their constructive comments. Portions of this
work are supported by the National Science Foundation under Award Number SES-152768. The research reported
here is that of the authors and does not
reflect the official policy of the National Science Foundation.
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Yili Liu ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is an assistant professor in
the Department of Management Science and Engineering
at Tongji University, Shanghai, China.
Lina Zhou ( email@example.com) is an associate professor in
the Department of Information Systems at University of
Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD.
© 2017 ACM 0001-0782/17/06 $15.00
job and life satisfaction.
could adapt themselves to WFC as
their experience and responding tactics improve through empowerment
of modern communication technologies. For instance, telecommuni-cating could support employees in
performing some or all of their job
functions outside the workplace, even
as they stay connected to work during
2 As the boundary between family and work activities blurs
in some situations, and despite the
distinct norms and requirements of
the two roles,
12 TC inevitably loses its
influence on JS and FS.
Our findings on SC emphasize the
importance of employees’ psychological well being, with significant
managerial implications for human
resource management in organizations. Minimizing employees’ distress, anxiety, fear, anger, and disgust
is thus instrumental to boosting their
JS and FS. For example, an increasing spillover between work and family activities might contribute to both
increased SC and decreased JS and FS.
Managers looking to control employees’ stress try to avoid assigning work
activities for non-work hours. And,
while enjoying a flexible work-family
arrangement, employees are able to
reduce their psychological strain by
minimizing interference of family responsibilities in non-family situations
and non-family hours.
These results also show that both JS
and FS are subject to the influence of
the same type of WFC, highlighting the
importance of WFC in our lives and significant spillover between our personal
experience of work and family.
WFC garners widespread attention
in modern society beyond human resources management. Despite extensive research in this area, different
studies report inconsistent and even
contradictory findings on the effects
and intensity of WFC. Additionally, the
overlap in time and place between traditional family and work roles may also
introduce new opportunities for WFC
to manifest in people’s everyday lives.
Ours is the first study to investigate the dynamics of WFC and explain
mixed findings concerning the relationships between WFC and satisfac-