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Work-life Balance in the Police: The Development of a Self-management Competency Framework

McDowall, A and Lindsay, A (2013) Work-life Balance in the Police: The Development of a Self-management Competency Framework Journal of Business and Psychology, 29 (3). pp. 397-411.

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Purpose Addressing a gap in the current work–life balance (WLB) literature regarding individual-focused approaches to inform interventions, we elicited behaviors used to self-manage WLB to draw up a competency-based WLB framework for relevant learnable knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs; Hoffmann, Eur J Ind Train 23:275–285, 1999) and mapping this against extant WLB frameworks. Design/Methodology/Approach Our participants were from a major UK police force, which faces particular challenges to the work–life interface through job demands and organizational cutbacks, covering a range of operational job roles, including uniformed officers and civilian staff. We took a mixed methods approach starting with semi-structured interviews to elicit 134 distinct behaviors (n = 20) and used a subsequent card sort task (n = 10) to group these into categories into 12 behavioral themes; and finally undertook an online survey (n = 356) for an initial validation. Findings Item and content analysis reduced the behaviors to 58, which we analyzed further. A framework of eight competencies fits the data best; covering a range of strategies, including Boundary Management, Managing Flexibility, and Managing Expectations. Implications The WLB self-management KSAs elicited consist of a range of solution-focused behaviors and strategies, which could inform future WLB-focused interventions, showing how individuals may negotiate borders effectively in a specific environment. Originality/Value A competence-based approach to WLB self-management is new, and may extend existing frameworks such as Border Theory, highlighting a proactive and solution-focused element of effective behaviors.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
McDowall, A
Lindsay, A
Date : 18 August 2013
DOI : 10.1007/s10869-013-9321-x
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID, S
Uncontrolled Keywords : work-life balance, competence, self management
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Journal of Business and Psychology 2013, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 29 Oct 2014 15:05
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:14

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