Work-Life Imbalance of IT Workers in the Internet Age

Work-Life Imbalance of IT Workers in the Internet Age

Helen Richardson (The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, New Zealand) and Darrell Bennetts (The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 51
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-917-5.ch003
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Abstract

These days, no information technology (IT) manager or worker will have escaped the expectation from a client that a job needed to be completed “yesterday.” The field of information systems (IS) research is only beginning to develop models for understanding the emerging issue of workload pressures upon IT workers, and their consequent need to maintain a balance between work and home. IT organisations need to consider how they manage their IT workers, departing from the traditional efficiency approach to staff management, and moving towards one better suited to the globalised environment within which businesses now operate. In its two parts, this chapter will consider the challenges of work-life balance that IT workers increasingly face. These days, IT workers are more vulnerable than other work employment groups to the pressure of contemporary workload expectations and deadlines. Research in the fields of sociology and psychology can help fill in detail on this emerging issue, otherwise absent from contemporary IS research. Sociology and Psychology can help IT practitioners better understand the increasing human cost of the currently increasing commercial pressures. In its first part, this chapter utilises some straightforward sociological concepts to background how “top down” or strategic management of IT workers could be improved within the IT sector. Sociologists have long had a strong interest in social change, in the ways in which both work and non-work (“leisure”) activities are changing within an increasingly globalised world. Many IT workers are now suffering both physical and mental symptoms due to commonplace business management approaches, which ultimately forgo long-term business profitability for short-term bottom lines. The second part of this chapter utilises the understanding of emotional intelligence within psychology and applies it as a bottom up strategy to illustrate how IT workers can cope with work-life imbalance. Here, a case study illustrates how the emotional qualities of resilience and adaptability that some IT workers possess can enable them to overcome work-life imbalances within the pressured context of globalised IT production. Leading on from the case study, the chapter will provide guidance on how IT workers might foster these qualities using HR techniques from the recently developed field of emotional intelligence. By utilising what have so far been interrelated, yet also independent, discussions within sociology and psychology on the effects of the Internet Age upon IT workers, this chapter aims to provide a balanced approach to the intellectual and emotional management of IT workers.

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Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1
Keri A. Logan, Barbara Crump
This chapter discusses workplace attitudes and policies that continue to affect women’s participation, retention, and promotion in the information... Sample PDF
Managing New Zealand Women in IT
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Chapter 2
Eileen A. Trauth, Jeria L. Quesenberry
Despite increases of women in the labor force, females are largely under-represented in the American IT workforce. Among the challenges that... Sample PDF
Gender and the Information Technology Workforce: Issues of Theory and Practice
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Chapter 3
Helen Richardson, Darrell Bennetts
These days, no information technology (IT) manager or worker will have escaped the expectation from a client that a job needed to be completed... Sample PDF
Work-Life Imbalance of IT Workers in the Internet Age
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Chapter 4
Eugene Cash, Pak Yoong, Sid Huff
An IS professional’s ability to perform in his or her role is vital to the utilisation of information systems within an organisation. The... Sample PDF
Reframing, Retooling, and Reskilling: Coping with Change in the Internet Age
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Chapter 5
Fred Niederman, Xiaorui Hu
Electronic commerce (e-commerce) personnel are instrumental in developing and maintaining electronic commerce programs and projects within firms. In... Sample PDF
Staffing Electronic Commerce Projects: Framework for Developing Appropriate Skill Sets
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Chapter 6
Bernd Carsten Stahl, Chris Wood
This chapter considers the question how professional issues can be taught in an undergraduate environment where little academic experience is to be... Sample PDF
Forming IT Professionals in the Internet Age: A Critical Case Study
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Chapter 7
Ani Patke, Tony Hooper
If academic institutions are to be responsive to changing student and industry requirements, they need to continually match their academic offerings... Sample PDF
Professional Skills Acquisitions in the Internet Age: Exploring the Perceptions of Undergraduates and Recent Graduates
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Chapter 8
Jeffy Luftman, Rajkumar Kempaiah
Attracting and retaining top IT talent is a major concern for most organizations. In the early part of this decade when the dotcom boom turned to a... Sample PDF
Managing IT Professionals: Human Resource Considerations
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Chapter 9
Eugene Kluzniacky
Largely because of the potential for Internet connectivity, the area of electronic commerce has been proliferating since the start of the century.... Sample PDF
Increasing the Effectiveness of IT Management through Psychological Awareness
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Chapter 10
Mark Toleman, Fiona Darroch, Mustafa Ally
This chapter examines the potential for agile methods to provide mechanisms to deal with the software development environment that has evolved in... Sample PDF
The Impact of Agile Methods on Managing IT Professionals
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Chapter 11
Haiyan Huang, Eileen A. Trauth
This chapter discusses cultural diversity challenges in globally distributed software development and the implications for educating and managing... Sample PDF
Cultural Diversity Challenges: Issues for Managing Globally Distributed Knowledge Workers in Software Development
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Chapter 12
Subrata Chakrabarty
This chapter introduces a prescriptive conceptual framework from the practitioner’s perspective for the “offshore-insourcing” journey. In the... Sample PDF
The Journey to New Lands: Utilizing the Global IT Workforce Through Offshore-Insourcing
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About the Authors