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The Impact of Mobile Technologies to the Work-Life Balance (Research Paper Sample)


Research Project Report Assessment (60%)
January 2017
Monday April 10th 2017
TASK: You will now write up your final project report and incorporate your edited literature review. The Final project report should be 4000 words in length, excluding the title page, table of contents, abstract, final list of references and appendices.
Submission Guidelines Template (student facing):
1. Use a standard academic font, size 12 and use 1.5 spacing between lines.
2. Each page of your assignment should have a header with your student ID number, module code and the name of your class tutor. Do not write your name.
3. All pages should be numbered.
4. Staple all pages together.
5. Include a title page consisting of the following information:
• Module Code:
• Class/Group:
• Module Title
• Assessment Title
• Assignment Title:
• Tutor Name:
• Student ID Number:
• Date of Submission:
You may be penalised according to the GIC Assessment Rules if:
• You ignore the word limit set for the assignment. It is important that you submit work with reference to the word limit. If you deviate significantly from the stated word limit you may be penalised.


Module Code:
Module Title:
Assessment Title:
Assignment Title: Impact of Mobile Technology on Work-Life Balance
Tutor Name:
Student ID Number:
Date of Submission:
This research gives an account of the relationship between mobile media and work-life balance. It elaborates on the theoretical framework of the concept by addressing four central research questions, adopted methodological strategy on the basis of secondary research content and detailed discussion on research findings in conclusion. Hence, the content revolves around — the necessity/convenience of mobile technology, difference in technological acceptance among different age groups and in between working men and women, experience of Chinese and Scottish mobile workers who are using mobile technology in an attempt to deal with their work-life balance. This paper ends with a hope that individuals and organizations will cooperate each other in coping with the problem of work-life balance.
1.1 Background
Media historians commonly recognize a wide-ranging shift when, at the threshold of the 20th century, transfer of data between two or more distant devices shifted from the common point-to-point direct connection protocol to broadcast/multicast transmissions. A telephone call is an example of point-to-point communication in which two phones are connected with each other and the message is only heard between the caller and the receiver. On contrary, a radio or television program is transmitted over airwaves for public reception.
The disseminating nature of broadcast reception – like radio or television industry – directed it towards family use. In other words, in society broadcasting system produced a new recipe of increasing mobility and decreasing sociability, with the domestication of radio and television wavelengths captured into the bedrooms of personal spaces. Like at first, the mobile phone was essentially a wireless telephone, providing increased possibilities of direct communication throughout physical space. The progress of mobile or portable electronic devices in a network system with real-time entry to broadcast contents produced fitting situations, however, for further types of expansion.
A very simplistic historical outline of change in communication system such as this is adequate to ponder how potentially enticing it is to portray the point of convergence and unity of cause and effect between technological change and makeovers in communication rationales.
1.2 Research Question and Structure
This project report is an exciting opportunity to provide a secondary research based understanding of the socio-cultural impact of the mobile technology on work-life-balance of workers. To this end, we explore four research questions in total. The following first three of those questions address the general conceptual and theoretical frameworks of the study.
RQ1: Has it become necessity or convenience to use mobile devices in all social situations?
RQ2: If there exists any difference in mobile phone usage among different age groups.
RQ3: If there exists any gender-specific differences in how career-men and career-women experience the changing limits between home and work through information and communication technologies.
The last research question narrow its subject particularly focusing on Chinese and Scottish workers. Quantitative research methods will be scrutinized from available desk research data to address the topic.
RQ4: If there is any specific different user experience of Chinese and Scottish mobile workers who are using mobile technology in an attempt to deal with their work-life balance.
This report opens with exploring the basic conceptual and academic frameworks of the study. This study report presents its theoretical understanding of the subject matter relying on analysis and discussion of prevalent literatures of this field. Hence, primary focus is on framing broader understanding of mobile technology and work-life balance highlighting the case of Chinese and Scottish workers.
This report pronounces new edge mobile communication technology is quickly effacing the border of work-life and domestic life. Domestication of public wavelength broadcast has created new geographies of visibility — here traditional concept of time and space is challenged, here ‘You are always there’. Future studies need to elaborate more on how individuals and organizations help each other to integrate private and occupational life effectively.
2.1 Technological Advances and Work-Life Spillover
One can continue narrative enquiry and sense-making to suggest that while development of mobile technologies create ample opportunities for individuals to systematize occupational tasks in resourceful ways to figure out more private time, the connection appears complex and contradictory. At one side, employees may employ technology in such a way that extends the hours and value of time specified for personal activities. A mobile worker can work whole evening, spending the morning time with his/her child. Modern workplaces can be portable — roaming in the car you can respond to an email, you may be ‘logged in’ while taking an afternoon tea outside office premises – hence maximizing work sphere into what were traditionally known as non-work spaces. In opposition, you may be engaged in online shopping/watching videos/texting family and friends while you are waiting for a meeting to start – thereby exploiting personal engagements into what was conventionally known as work-space. Now, one can be ‘employed’ to work from home from a reputed company. Thus, for the company the worker proves to be cost effective — and for the worker, it’s a great chance to avoid commutation hazards and corporate decorum. This sense of satisfactory schedule tends to have greater feel of contentment with jobs and life in general, as well as lesser levels of anxiety and melancholy. However, technology-based mobility can produce a conflict in which job overrules private setting. Modern Concerns about life-work balance arise from this particular point, i.e., fusing of work-family boundary due to digital connectivity.
Francesca Cirianni discusses about the genesis of Work-Family conflict and superbly summarizes the development of its theory. The segmentation model of hypothesis separates domestic life and occupational life as autonomous domains, without any correlation. The compensation model of hypothesis judges certain dominant role of people as the manifestation of their dissatisfaction, which is compensated when people take refuge in anther role. The spillover model of hypothesis regards in certain instances a particular field experience can spread into anther field of life tending to be either negative or positive in its effect. The Role model of hypothesis suggests that the involvement in a specific (work or family) role becomes complicated due to sharing involvement in another (family or job) role (Cirianni, 2015).
2.2 Gender, Age and Work-Life Balance
Karlene Cousins and Daniel Robey postulate Portable communication system typically offers some characteristic features [affordances] namely: adaptability/mobility, connectivity, interoperability/exchangeability of data, identifiability and Intelligent Adaptation/ personalization. They deduce that these affordances make it possible for mobile workers to practice personalized boundary management in order to maintain work-life balance. With the help of these affordances/ technological features individuals maintain multi-tasking and attain their controlled work-life balance (Robey & Cousins, 2015).
However, Catherine Middleton’s article gives some exceptional insights elaborating on how middle to upper-middle class female professionals regulate their smart-phone use. In their survey, the younger women-group is relentless in replying quickly to emails and texts. In doing so, they tirelessly convey receptiveness and reliability to their fellow workers. Some of them sustain this ‘always responsible’ habit even when they are on holiday. For these young females, this habit of unbridled availability interfering into their family life is seen as expected and minor compromise, which their families should welcome. On contrary, the older women-group is found to be far more meticulous about limiting their availability to their fellow workers and protecting their personal hours more strongly. Though the survey does not reveal any reason behind this habitual contrast between older and younger working women attitude towards their job — one can assume the idea of motherhood/ parenting/ care-giving as an intervening factor which usually grows up with age (Middleton, 2007).
2.3 The Case of Chinese and Scottish Workers
Adoption of Communication and information system also varies greatly among countries where it is accepted in accordance with the need of both workers and organizations. Studies suggest that Chinese Organizations in the country are expecting to introduce official portable work-style agenda and events to raise awareness of data information safety (Citrix.Com, 2012). A Mobile Work-styles Survey by Citrix.Com shows —
Chart 4: Worldwide Survey on Mobile Work-Styles[Organizations of] Countries Implementing Mobile Work-Styles EarliestAdoption Percentage1.United States902.China853.Brazil814.India775.UK726.France717.Germany71[Organizations of] Countries Having Employees Desiring Mobile Work-StylesMobile Work-Styles
Desiring Employee Percentage1.Netherlands692.Sweden693.China744.Hong Kong615.Japan61
The online survey Modern Families Index 2015: Scotland represents 1005 working parents across Scotland w...
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