CISAT Presents Colloquium Talk by Dr. Manju Ahuja

Published on Wednesday, February 19, 2014

                                      Friday, February 21, 2014  |  4:00pm  |  ACB 214

Center for Information Systems and Technology

Presents Colloquium Talk

Dr. Manju Ahuja

CIS Department at the College of Business

         University of Louisville, Kentucky               




The motivation for globally distributed systems development is to harness appropriate human capital. One particularly challenging human resource issue in this context is that of Work-Life Balance (WLB) of the IT professionals involved in global systems development (GSD), who routinely experience overlaps and conflicts between their work and personal life domains. Recent research argues that WLB is “no longer simply an individual concern,” but “an organizational imperative” (Peolmans et al. 2009, p. 207). In spite of these recognized challenges, we know of no empirical examinations and very few theoretical perspectives informing us about WLB issues faced by the IT professionals involved in this context. 

While WLB is an issue in the contemporary contexts on computer-mediated work, the Global Systems Development (GSD) context adds many layers of challenges arising from time differences, requirements instability, and diversity. In this paper, we theoretically develop and empirically test a model of the antecedents and consequences of WLB within distributed settings in general, and within GSD settings, in particular, where the existing literature offers limited guidance. We utilize a multi-stage multi-method empirical approach within a cross-cultural context.

The research demonstrates that workers in distributed/virtual settings face unique challenges, where organizational policies such as flexible schedules in traditional organizations tend to fall short. The results help understand the specific nature of these challenges, and move beyond the family-friendly policies and flexible schedules. The results also help us understand the effect of WLB issues on current and future attitude toward globally distributed work among ISD workers when burdened with high WLC, their turnover intentions, and their overall performance. This research will help devise ways to ensure a steady supply of capable and willing GSD IT professionals.