- Contribute Content
Flexibility, Definition(s) of
"The malleability of the boundary between two or more role/domains-its ability to expand or contract-to accommodate the demands of one domain or another" (Desrochers & Sargent).
"Applied to work and family, Nippert-Eng states that boundary work involves 'the process through which we organize potentially realm-specific matters, people, objects, and aspects of self into "home" and "work," maintaining and changing these conceptualizations as needed and/or desired' (p. 7). She goes on to argue that boundary work 'is first and foremost a mental activity, but it must be enacted and enhanced through a largely visible collection of essential, practical activities'such as 'wearing different or similar clothes at home and work…having coworkers over for dinner, or not; bringing children to the workplace, or not' etc." (p. 7-8).
"Flexibility is the degree to which the spatial and temporal boundaries are pliable" (Hall & Richter, 1988).
"A role with flexible boundaries can be enacted in various settings and at various times" (Ashforth, Kreiner, & Fugate, 2000, p. 474).
"[T]he extent to which a border may contract or expand, depending on the demands of one domain or the other (Hall & Richter, 1988). For example, if individuals are free to work any hours they choose, the temporal border separating work and family is flexible" (Clark, 2000, p. 757).
"Flexibility is a way to define how and when work gets done and how careers are organized. Workplace flexibility may include having traditional flextime (setting daily hours within a range periodically); having daily flextime; being allowed to take time off during the work day to address family matters; being able to take a few days off to care for a sick child without losing pay, having to use vacation days, or make up an excuse for absence; being able to work some regular hours at home; being able to take breaks when one wants to; having a work shift that is desirable; having complete or a lot of control over work schedule; being able to work part-time (if currently full-time) or full-time (if currently part-time) in one’s current position; being able to work a compressed work week; being able to work part-year in current position; seldom being required to work paid or unpaid overtime with little or no notice; believing that one can use flexible work arrangements without jeopardizing job advancement" (When Work Works).
"The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Workplace Flexibility Initiative defines Workplace Flexibility as:
- Workplace flexibility is about how work gets done.
- It’s the 21st Century response to a one-size-fits-all way of working.
- Workplace flexibility can make companies more profitable and improve lives."
Desrochers & Sargent (2003). Boundary/border theory and work-family integration, a Sloan Work and Family Research Network encyclopedia entry. Chestnut Hill, MA: Sloan Work and Family Research Network.
Flexibility (2003). A dictionary of business in economics and business. UK: Oxford University Press, Inc. Retrieved June 17, 2003, from http://www.oxfordreference.com/
"Flexibility is the degree to which the spatial and temporal boundaries are pliable" (Hall & Richter, 1988). Hall, D. T., & Richter, J. (1988). Balancing work life and home life: What can organizations do to help? Academy of Management Executive, 3, 213-223.
Ashforth, B. E., Kreiner, G. E., & Fugate, M. (2000). All in a day's work: Boundaries and micro role transitions. Academy of Management Review, 25(3), 472-491.
Clark, S. C. (2000). Work/family border theory: A new theory of work/family balance. Human Relations, 53(6), 747-770.
When Work Works. (n.d.) Definition of flexibility. Retrieved March 14, 2006, from http://familiesandwork.org/3w/about/definition.html
Sloan Network Archive
- Blog Entries
- Encyclopedia Entries
- International Corner
- Literature Database
- Network News
- Policy Resources
- Statistics or Fact Sheets
- Teaching Resources
- Topic Pages
- Who’s Who
- Workplace Resources