"I can't do this anymore. What do I need to write on my two-weeks' notice?": investigating communication in decision about work-life conflict




Teixeira, Deborah De Cillo Ottoni


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This study investigates the experience of individuals who strongly considered or decided to quit their jobs due to work-life conflict from a communication perspective, how they communicated with social network members, and how that influenced their decision. Problematic Integration (PI) theory was used to explore how participants experienced work-life challenges and how individuals used social support to help manage their problematic integration. Twenty-two individuals who strongly considered or decided to quit their jobs were interviewed about their personal and professional experiences during that time. Results indicated that work-life conflict emerged from both work and life, and impacted both domains. Work interfered in life more frequently than the reverse. Participants’ cognitive discomfort caused by work-life conflict was explained by the four types of PI. Communicating with social network members helped individuals manage feelings of PI, which influenced their decision to leave or remain in their jobs. Social network members are an important element influencing how individuals make decisions related to managing PI and work-life conflict. Additional implications and directions for future research are discussed.



problematic integration theory, social support, voluntary organizational exit, work-life conflict



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