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57a More free time more overtime_ An examination of the overtime p_organized.pdf (24.91 MB)

"More free time, more overtime?" An examination of the overtime paradox for part-time employees through the lens of non-working time

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posted on 2020-05-14, 09:51 authored by Hsin Ning YONG

Why do part-time employees with reduced workload and remuneration work longer hours than contracted? Existing research attributes this phenomenon to organisational culture. design of the part-time work. relationship with others at work and one's personality traits. However, there are at least two major gaps in the existing research. Firstly. there is no integrated framework which links these factors influencing part-time employees to work longer hours. This impacts the ability for individuals and companies to systematically apply these findings to improve part-time arrangements; Secondly. most studies to date use self-report methods such:15 interviews and surveys. which limit the findings to what employees can explicitly recognise at the conscious level.

This dissertation addresses these gaps via two independent but related studies. The first study investigates the relationship between factors influencing part-time employees to work overtime. It uses the principles of grounded theory and queuing theory to analyse findings from interviews with part-time employees and to develop an integrated framework explaining the phenomenon. The framework is predicated on the analogy that work and non-work demands are in distinct "queues' served by the part-time employee who "supplies" the labour. This in turn generates insights that overtime is driven both by the demands of work and the decision to supply labour. The second study uses the experimental design method to investigate whether having more uncommitted time leads to longer working hours. It also investigates the effect of gain or loss of uncommitted time relative to an expected level and the individual's non-work orientations on overtime. Based on the responses of professionals who were either currently or previously on part-time work arrangements. The relationship between uncommitted time and overtime was found to be significant. This meant that the level of overtime increased as the level of uncommitted time increased. However. it was found that the overtime increased at a decreasing rate whereas the time allocated to family turd personal increased at an increasing rate. The effects of non-work orientation and relative gain or loss of uncommitted time were found to be non-significant. The insights generated from these studies have immediate applications for individuals and companies to systematically design and plan for sustainable work arrangements. More directly. they would apply mainly to women who wish to balance the demands of family and career through part-time work arrangements. However, the insights would also potentially be applicable to address future workforce trends where millennial: are expected to hold multiple jobs and where the ageing workforce is expected to be retained through more flexible work arrangements such as part-time work.


Document type

  • PhD dissertation

Degree awarded

PhD in Business (General Management)

Year degree awarded



REB, Jochen

Committee members

ZERRILLO, Philip C.; PADDOCK, E. Layne

SMU School

  • Lee Kong Chian School of Business

No. of pages