Publications by Author:

Bray JW, Hinde JM, Kaiser DJ, Mills MJ, Karuntzos GT, Genadek KR, Kelly EL, Kossek EE, Hurtado DA. Effects of a Flexibility/Support Intervention on Work Performance. American Journal of Health Promotion [Internet]. Submitted :0890117117696244. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Purpose:To estimate the effects of a workplace initiative to reduce work–family conflict on employee performance.Design:A group-randomized multisite controlled experimental study with longitudinal follow-up.Setting:An information technology firm.Participants:Employees randomized to the intervention (n = 348) and control condition (n = 345).Intervention:An intervention, “Start. Transform. Achieve. Results.” to enhance employees’ control over their work time, to increase supervisors’ support for this change, and to increase employees’ and supervisors’ focus on results.Methods:We estimated the effect of the intervention on 9 self-reported employee performance measures using a difference-in-differences approach with generalized linear mixed models. Performance measures included actual and expected hours worked, absenteeism, and presenteeism.Results:This study found little evidence that an intervention targeting work–family conflict affected employee performance. The only significant effect of the intervention was an approximately 1-hour reduction in expected work hours. After Bonferroni correction, the intervention effect is marginally insignificant at 6 months and marginally significant at 12 and 18 months.Conclusion:The intervention reduced expected working time by 1 hour per week; effects on most other employee self-reported performance measures were statistically insignificant. When coupled with the other positive wellness and firm outcomes, this intervention may be useful for improving employee perceptions of increased access to personal time or personal wellness without sacrificing performance. The null effects on performance provide countervailing evidence to recent negative press on work–family and flex work initiatives.

Moen P, Kelly EL, Lee S-R, Oakes JM, Fan W, Bray J, Almeida D, Hammer L, Hurtado D, Buxton O. Can a Flexibility/Support Initiative Reduce Turnover Intentions and Exits? Results from the Work, Family, and Health Network. Social Problems [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We draw on panel data from a randomized field experiment to assess the effects of a flexibility/supervisor support initiative called STAR on turnover intentions and voluntary turnover among professional technical workers in a large firm. An unanticipated exogenous shock—the announcement of an impending merger—occurred in the middle of data collection. Both organizational changes reflect an emerging employment contract characterized by increasing employee temporal flexibility even as employers wield greater flexibility in reorganizing their workforces. We theorized STAR would reduce turnover intentions and actual turnover by making it more attractive to stay with the current employer. We found being in a STAR team (versus a usual practice team) lowered turnover intentions 12 months later and reduced the risk of voluntary turnover over almost three years. We also examined potential mechanisms accounting for the effects of these two organizational changes; STAR effects on reducing turnover intentions are partially mediated by reducing work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, burnout, psychological distress, perceived stress, and increasing job satisfaction. The effect of learning about the merger on increasing turnover intentions is fully mediated by increased job insecurity. STAR also moderates the negative effects of learning about the merger on turnover intentions for different subgroups. Findings provide insights into the effectiveness of an organizational intervention, the dynamics of organizations, and how competing logics of two organizational changes affect employees’ labor market expectations and behavior.

DePasquale N, Polenick CA, Hinde J, Bray JW, Zarit SH, Moen P, Hammer LB, Almeida DM. Health Behavior Among Men With Multiple Family Roles: The Moderating Effects of Perceived Partner Relationship Quality. American Journal of Men's Health [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Men in the United States are increasingly involved in their children’s lives and currently represent 40% of informal caregivers to dependent relatives or friends aged 18 years and older. Yet much more is known about the health effects of varying family role occupancies for women relative to men. The present research sought to fill this empirical gap by first comparing the health behavior (sleep duration, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, fast food consumption) of men who only occupy partner roles and partnered men who also fill father, informal caregiver, or both father and informal caregiver (i.e., sandwiched) roles. The moderating effects of perceived partner relationship quality, conceptualized here as partner support and strain, on direct family role–health behavior linkages were also examined. A secondary analysis of survey data from 366 cohabiting and married men in the Work, Family and Health Study indicated that men’s multiple family role occupancies were generally not associated with health behavior. With men continuing to take on more family responsibilities, as well as the serious health consequences of unhealthy behavior, the implications of these null effects are encouraging - additional family roles can be integrated into cohabiting and married men’s role repertoires with minimal health behavior risks. Moderation analysis revealed, however, that men’s perceived partner relationship quality constituted a significant factor in determining whether multiple family role occupancies had positive or negative consequences for sleep duration, alcohol consumption, and fast food consumption. These findings are discussed in terms of their empirical and practical implications for partnered men and their families.
Barbosa C, Bray J, Dowd W, Mills MJ, Moen P, Wipfli B, Olson R, Kelly EL. Return on Investment of a Work-Family Intervention: Evidence From the Work, Family, and Health Network. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine [Internet]. 2015;57 (9) :943-51. Publisher's VersionAbstract

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the return on investment (ROI) of a workplace initiative to reduce work-family conflict in a group-randomized 18-month field experiment in an information technology firm in the United States.
METHODS: Intervention resources were micro-costed; benefits included medical costs, productivity (presenteeism), and turnover. Regression models were used to estimate the ROI, and cluster-robust bootstrap was used to calculate its confidence interval.
RESULTS: For each participant, model-adjusted costs of the intervention were $690 and company savings were $1850 (2011 prices). The ROI was 1.68 (95% confidence interval, -8.85 to 9.47) and was robust in sensitivity analyses.
CONCLUSION: The positive ROI indicates that employers' investment in an intervention to reduce work-family conflict can enhance their business. Although this was the first study to present a confidence interval for the ROI, results are comparable with the literature.

Barbosa C, Bray J, Brockwood K, Reeves D. Costs of a Work-Family Intervention: Evidence From the Work, Family, and Health Network. Am J Health Promot. [Internet]. 2013;Aug 23 :[Epub ahead of print]. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Purpose . To estimate the cost to the workplace of implementing initiatives to reduce work-family conflict. Design . Prospective cost analysis conducted alongside a group-randomized multisite controlled experimental study, using a microcosting approach. Setting . An information technology firm. Subjects . Employees (n = 1004) and managers (n = 141) randomized to the intervention arm. Intervention . STAR (Start. Transform. Achieve. Results.) to enhance employees' control over their work time, increase supervisor support for employees to manage work and family responsibilities, and reorient the culture toward results. Measures . A taxonomy of activities related to customization, start-up, and implementation was developed. Resource use and unit costs were estimated for each activity, excluding research-related activities. Analysis . Economic costing approach (accounting and opportunity costs). Sensitivity analyses on intervention costs. Results . The total cost of STAR was $709,654, of which $389,717 was labor costs and $319,937 nonlabor costs (including $313,877 for intervention contract). The cost per employee participation in the intervention was $340 (95% confidence interval: $330-$351); $597 ($561-$634) for managers and $300 ($292-$308) for other employees (2011 prices). Conclusion . A detailed activity costing approach allows for more accurate cost estimates and identifies key drivers of cost. The key cost driver was employees' time spent on receiving the intervention. Ignoring this cost, which is usual in studies that cost workplace interventions, would seriously underestimate the cost of a workplace initiative.

Bray J, Kelly EL, Hammer LB, Almeida DM, Dearing JW, King RB, Buxton OM. An integrative, multilevel, and transdisciplinary research approach to challenges of work, family, and health. RTI Press. 2013;March.
Kelly EL, Kossek EE, Hammer LB, Durham M, Bray J, Chermack K, Murphy LA, Kaskubar D. Getting There from Here: Research on the Effects of Work-Family Initiatives on Work-Family Conflict and Business Outcomes. Acad Manag Ann. 2008;2 :305-349.Abstract
Many employing organizations have adopted work-family policies, programs, and benefits. Yet managers in employing organizations simply do not know what organizational initiatives actually reduce work-family conflict and how these changes are likely to impact employees and the organization. We examine scholarship that addresses two broad questions: first, do work-family initiatives reduce employees' work-family conflict and/or improve work-family enrichment? Second, does reduced work-family conflict improve employees' work outcomes and, especially, business outcomes at the organizational level? We review over 150 peer-reviewed studies from a number of disciplines in order to summarize this rich literature and identify promising avenues for research and conceptualization. We propose a research agenda based on four primary conclusions: the need for more multi-level research, the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach, the benefits of longitudinal studies that employ quasi-experimental or experimental designs and the challenges of translating research into practice in effective ways.