The Use of Boundaries by Self-employed, Home-Based Workers to Manage Work and Family: A Qualitative Study in Canada
- 382 Downloads
This qualitative study used grounded theory methodology to explore the experiences of 30 self-employed, home-based workers in Canada. Using boundary and work–family border theories as central theoretical constructs, this research examined the extent to which workers used boundaries to manage work and family, the nature of these boundaries, and how they were negotiated by the workers and their families. The results indicated that self-employed, home-based workers used both conceptual and physical barriers to create and manage the boundaries between home and work and that these boundaries were reinforced by rules. Gender differences and similarities were observed in the ways that boundaries were constructed and managed. Based on these observations, several areas for further investigation are proposed.
KeywordsCanadian qualitative study Home-based work Self-employed workers Work–family boundaries
- Akyeampong, E. B. (2007). Working at home: An update [Electronic version]. Perspectives on Labour and Income, 8, 16–18.Google Scholar
- Akyeampong, E. B., & Nadwodny, R. (2001). Evolution of the Canadian workplace: Work from home. Perspectives on Labour and Income, 2, 30–36.Google Scholar
- Barnett, R. C. (1998). Toward a review and reconceptualization of the work/family literature. Genetic, Social and General Psychology Monograph, 124, 125–182.Google Scholar
- Charmaz, K. (2002). Qualitative interviewing and grounded theory analysis. In J. F. Gubrium & J. A. Holstein (Eds.), Handbook of interview research: Context and method (pp. 675–694). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Christensen, K. (1988a). The new era of home-based work: Directions and policies. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
- Christensen, K. (1988b). Women and home-based work: The unspoken contract. New York: Holt.Google Scholar
- Daly, K. (1992). The fit between qualitative research and characteristics of families. In J. F. Gilgun, K. Daly, & G. Handel (Eds.), Qualitative methods in family research (pp. 3–11). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Daly, K. J. (1996). Families and time: Keeping pace in a hurried culture. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- Desrochers, S., & Sargent, L. (2003). Boundary/Border theory and work-family integration. Sloan Work & Family Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 17, 2006, from http://wfnetwork.bc.edu/encyclopedia_entry.php?id=220.
- Diamond, C., & Lafferty, G. (2000). Telework: Issues for research, policy and regulation. Labour and Industry, 11(1), 115.Google Scholar
- Fitzgerald, M. A., & Winter, M. (2001). The intrusiveness of home-based work on family life. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 2, 76–92.Google Scholar
- Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). Discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine Press.Google Scholar
- Greenhaus, J. H., & Powell, G. N. (2006). When work and family are allies: A theory of work-family enrichment. Academy of Management Review, 31, 72–92.Google Scholar
- Hall, D. T., & Richter, J. (1988). Balancing work & home life: What can organizations do to help? Academy of Management Executive, 2, 213–223.Google Scholar
- Heck, R. K. Z., Owen, A. J., & Rowe, B. R. (Eds.). (1995). Home-based employment and family life. Westport, CT: Auburn House.Google Scholar
- Hochschild, A. (1997). The time bind: When work becomes home and home becomes work. New York: Metropolitan Books.Google Scholar
- Johnson, K. L., Lero, D. S., & Rooney, J. (2001). Work-life compendium 2001: 150 Canadian statistics on work, family & well-being. Guelph, ON: University of Guelph Centre for Families, Work & Well-being.Google Scholar
- Kirby, E. L. (1999, November). Understudied communication: Balancing work and family in organizations. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Convention, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
- Lamont, M. (2001). Symbolic boundaries. Symbolic Boundaries, 1(1). Retrieved February 20, 2002 from http://www.People.Virginia.edu/.
- Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Mirchandani, K. (1998). No longer a struggle? Tele-workers reconstruction of the work-non-work boundary. In P. J. Jackson & J. M. van der Wielen (Eds.), Tele-working: International perspectives (pp. 118–135). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Morrow, S. L., Rakhsha, G., & Casteneda, C. L. (2001). Qualitative research methods for multicultural counseling. In J. Ponterotto, J. M. Casas, L. A. Suzuki, & C. M. Alexander (Eds.), Handbook of multicultural counseling (2nd ed., pp. 1575–1603). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Nadwodny, R. (1996). Canadians working at home. Canadian Social Trends, 40, 16–19.Google Scholar
- National Association for the Self-Employed. (2006). How many home-based businesses are there? Retrieved April 17, 2006 from http://news.nase.org/news/homebased.asp.
- Nippert-Eng, C. E. (1996). Home & work: Negotiating boundaries through everyday life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). The basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Tuttle, R., & Garr, M. (2009). Self-employment, work-family fit and mental health among female workers. Journal of Family and Economic Issues. Retrieved June 18, 2009, from http://www.kluweronline.com/issn/1058-0476.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2005). Work at home in 2004. Retrieved on December 17, 2006 from http://www.bls.gov.release/homey.nr0.htm.
- Voydanoff, P. (2001). Conceptualizing community in the context of work and family. Community, Work & Family, 4, 133–156.Google Scholar
- Yttri, B. (1999). Homework & boundary work. Teletronik, 4, 39–47.Google Scholar
- Zerubavel, E. (1991). The fine line: Making distinctions in everyday life. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar