University of Wollongong in Dubai
Submitted to: Dr. Catherine Todd
Done by: Alia Ibrahim
Student ID: 4115132
Saturday, 14 December 2012
Table of Contents
Implementing Successful Quality Management 3
Benefits of Offering Childcare in the Workplace for Employees. 4
Employee Perception on Commitment Oriented Work System; Effects on Trust and Perceived Job Security 4
Equality at Work? Workplace Equality, Flexible Working Arrangements, and the Quality of Work 5
Promises, Promises: “Choices For Women” In Canadian and American Child Care Policy Debates 6
Family Responsibilities and Women’s Working Lives. 7
International Policies Toward Parental Leave and Child Care. 8
Retaining Women in the Workforce. 8
Family Provision at the workplace and their Relationship to Absenteeism, Retention, and Productivity of Workers: Timely Evidence from Prior Data. 9
Restructuring and women workers in Australian home care. 10
Male and female employees have different needs that their employers should meet to ensure employee job satisfaction and productivity, which is important to the company’s performance. Women’s needs are more diverse than those of men. With regard to the position of women in society and their gender roles, female employees generally, will work best in an environment that allows flexibility, to balance between work and family. Seasoned employers ensure this by implementing work policies that put this into consideration. This annotated bibliography therefore, reviews different sources that highlight the relationship between women needs and work productivity, including policies by employers and government, which consider needs of female employees in their workplace.
1. Implementing Successful Quality Management
This article demonstrates the implementation of a successful Quality Management System (QMS) by written and controlled procedures. A QMS prevents failures involving the supply chain, the brand, and customers, since it forms a basis for major company audits. The authors discuss four main steps involved in development of an effective QMS. First, statistical tools, and preferably a flow chart or a process map, is vital as it provides information on the path a product follows from the manufacturing stage. This becomes a control plan after its approval by quality assurance department. Secondly, a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FEMEA), is an advanced stage of product quality planning, which helps in identifying possible failures, and a FEMEA team may oversee the process. Systems validation protocols work to eliminate defects and lower the level of variation in the process of manufacturing. Finally, current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) is necessary for manufacturing companies to ensure their products meet the market requirements, as this will develop their product identity and quality. Therefore, companies must be develop and sustain a cGMP. Nonetheless, an effective QMS may fail or succeed, depending on the level of commitment of employees and management of a company.
In the article, authors explain a comprehensive process of developing an effective QMS. However, they fail to articulate a solid definition of QMS. In addition, they do not relate this directly to vital management issues in the contemporary workplace. Similarly, they do not address QMS as part of the organizational culture and the impact of a QMS to employee job satisfaction. Finally, the authors do not carry out a research to back up their explanations; this could have increased their work’s validity. For this reason, this area needs further research to ascertain the principles involved in QMS application as well as its impact on employees attitude. Nonetheless, this article bases on QMS and therefore, breaking it further will reveal the management practices that ensure satisfaction of employees’ needs, including the female employees, with special attention to their childcare issues.
2. Benefits of Offering Childcare in the Workplace for Employees
This article explains the relationship between workplace childcare provision and productivity of female employees. The author argues that, companies, which offer on-site childcare, register higher productivity than those that do not provide on-site childcare. The argument behind this is that, female employees concentrate more on their work when they are provided childcare at their workplace, as this lessens their worries and problems associated with childcare. Their motivation and loyalty levels increase, thus increasing their job performance. Subsequently, these motivated female employees will boost the overall company productivity.
A major limitation of this article is failure to link the assumptions made with a research. Instead, the author presents a generalized assumption, which lacks practical evidence. Similarly, the author does not use secondary sources; neither does he employ a case study. Nonetheless, this article still makes valid points, as it is true that if childcare is provided at the workplace, most female employee needs will have been dealt with, thus boosting their motivation and productivity in their work, consequently enhancing company productivity.
3. Employee Perception on Commitment Oriented Work System; Effects on Trust and Perceived Job Security
This article presents a research on a Dutch employment company, to establish the impact of Human Resource Management (HRM) on some of the competitive advantages in a company. The study mainly based on individual employee levels in the agency. In this view, the relationship between HR systems and job security and employee trust is established. The research findings showed that high level of job security and employee trust results when there is a positive employee inclusion, employee training and development, sharing of information, and support by direct supervision.
The methodology used in this study was the questionnaire technique. Questionnaires were distributed to all the 4 500 permanent employees of Flex company in Netherlands. The questions in the questionnaire sought to establish the opinions of all senior and junior employees concerning the issues related to human resource management. This included specific information on aspects of training and development of employees, sharing of information, salaries, and employee inclusion. The results of the study revealed that high scores on information sharing, training and development support by supervisors, and employee participation showed a positive relationship with job security. For instance, managers and other senior employees were less worried about their jobs, while the shopfloor employees were the most worried about their job.
The major limitation of the study is that it relied on only one source for data collection, which is the Flex Company, a big firm in the Netherlands. In addition, data evaluation included a large data set. This is problematic as it results in generalizations. The research was also one-sided, as it focused on the employees’ side alone, seeking their attitudes, and paid less attention to the management practices of the company. Research in the HRM field should focus on a company’s HRM practices. Therefore, future research in this area should focus on more than one company alone, and be extended to gather data from different companies in the Netherlands. Additionally, it should consider findings from other studies conducted on the topic, to reach more substantiated conclusions. Nonetheless, this research proves that a commitment oriented work system increases employees’ trust and perceived job security.
4. Equality at Work? Workplace Equality, Flexible Working Arrangements, and the Quality of Work
This is a study conducted on the Irish labor force to determine how policies at the workplace influence flexibility and equality at the workplace. In this research, there is use of work policies of different Irish companies. Mainly, the data collected by ESRI, in a previous national survey on over 5 000 Irish employees was reviewed to arrive at results. The flexibility aspect of this research takes into account mainly the female employees. The authors conclude that work policies with childcare provision and high flexibility works in retaining more female employees.
The study findings established that equality policies are more common in public organizations and in big corporations with employee associations, and are rare in private organizations. In addition, there was an establishment of a correlation between equity policies and work flexibility, as these two are directly related, and result in low stress levels among employees, thus ensuring employee job satisfaction. The results also show that flexibility in work is highly gendered as more women engaged in job sharing and part-time jobs. However, each form of flexibility employed had different effects on the employees. Part-timers earned less than full-timers, but with low stress levels. Homeworking led to higher stress levels but more earnings, while job sharing increased autonomy and led to more stress in men. Generally, these findings show that the implementation of flexible working arrangements by organizations is done to suit the organization’s needs and not employee needs. However, flexibility favors women employees more, as these have many obligations in society, which need time. This calls for further research to clarify further, how work organization influences employees and their families
5. Promises, Promises: “Choices for Women” In Canadian and American Child Care Policy Debates
This source provides a comparison of the Canadian and American childcare policies, passed by their governments in the early 1980s. The author argues that Canada is more developed in its welfare than the U.S.A. Unlike America, Canada offers paid maternity and parental leaves, in addition to the presence of a public health insurance system. The author studies the childcare policies of these two countries by tracing the major Acts in government legislation of the two countries, starting early 1980s. Additionally, the author takes a feministic approach in addressing the issues affecting working mothers in these countries.
This study shows that women working in an organization not acting on the childcare provision are influenced by the culture that embraces full-time working. It was determined that their decisions primarily based on the degree to which their personal relationships are affected, which in turn affect their overall job performance. The author emphasizes that the relationship between childcare and female employees’ performance needs to be put into consideration during the enactment of policies at the workplace. Additionally, women need to be given a freedom of choice concerning children’s care. According to the author, this right of women to choose their preferred childcare mode was promised to American women but the government has not addressed it yet. In addition, currently, Canada and America need to restructure their childcare policies to integrate wholly the needs of infant and preschool-aged children.
This research concludes that organizations are negatively influenced when working mothers come under the pressure of balancing work and family life. The failure of these organizations to offer effective childcare policies to female employees results in their low productivity, as the affected women work under increased stress and fail to deliver to their capacity. Therefore, it can be argued that the implementation of effective childcare policies helps female employees to be more at ease and concentrate on their work, thus increasing their productivity. However, the author sees a bleak future for welfare in America and Canada, as America is becoming more restrictive through creation of limiting policies, while Canada is greatly cutting on its social spending. Therefore, in future, employment practices and policies that integrate women’s needs may not be further adopted.
6. Family Responsibilities and Women’s Working Lives
Women’s diverse responsibilities in their families and in the corporate world are brought under scrutiny in this article. The authors use the case of Australia to show how women in the Australian labor force juggle between work and family, and how the government policies affect the balance between career and family for the female employees in Australia. Additionally, the effects of women’s role in the family on their career life and socio-economic status are also explained in relation to government policies and work practices.
The authors in their study use statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to determine the percentage of married women in the Australian labor force, the amount of time these women spend on domestic duties, the time they spend with their families, and the Australian government policies on childcare. It is from these statistics, that the authors draw their inferences. The results show that the Australian government’s childcare policies have helped ease pressures of female employees. In addition, more Australian women are getting into the labor force; however, their role in the family remains, yet today, they are still paid lower salaries than their male counterparts. This has led to most women quitting their jobs at the peak of their career life, to concentrate on their families.
In the article, the authors review different policies at the economic and social levels and pay close attention to the specific ones that help address the need of women to balance between work and family. However, the authors do not address work practices, or the influence of employers in policy implementation processes. Additionally, the study is conducted on Australian women only, and therefore, these results cannot to apply to other countries. Nonetheless, the authors have effectively addressed the effects of women’s place in society, including their responsibilities, to the achievement of their social and economic goals. Women’s domestic roles are an impediment to their advancement in their career life. Therefore, better policies should be put in place to help address this, as women are contributors to the national economy.
7. International Policies toward Parental Leave and Child Care
The differences in international childcare policies and how their provisions impact on the job performance of the female employees to whom these were mainly designed for, is discussed in this article. The policies involving childcare, parental leaves and early childhood benefits in ten industrial nations found in Europe and North America are used in this study. The author observes differences in these policies in each country. However, special attention is shifted to the U.S.A, which is regarded as a poor performer in this sector.
It is established that, women, regardless of their good academic and professional qualifications, and a steady rise in the labor force, increasingly resign from their jobs due to the mounting pressure of balancing between their families and work. According to the authors, this decision is highly influenced by lack of the implementation of social and childcare provisions in their workplaces. This research aimed at promoting good practice and positive actions that promote reconciliation between the family or personal life of female employees and their career life. This is through a call to eliminate all forms of inequalities as well as gender stereotypes in organizations. The author recommends that countries should offer limited parental leaves and plenty of childcare benefits to ensure that women do not give up on their career life.
The research has not considered the integration of balance between the childcare policies and the competitive advantage and benefit for the mother and for all those with whom it relates (for children, the partners of female employees, and the professional relationships). However, the author notes that a key aspect in the professional lives of many people, and not just women is related to the choice of having children. Companies and employers are still finding it hard to manage the different cultural and organizational barriers that occur in these contexts.
8. Retaining Women in the Workforce
The authors analyze female workforce retention and strategies that an organization undertakes to provide better organizational support in easing out their work responsibilities. This is through a survey in Australia. They seek to establish reasons behind the low number of women in the Australian workforce. Data collection was through questionnaires answered by employees in all levels of companies, including both private and public. Additional information was sourced from the database of Australian Institute of Management. More than 3 000 responses were analyzed.
Results showed that although the childcare policies and benefits of Australia are better than those of most countries, they have not managed to retain women in the workforce. Unlike male executives, for highly qualified women, the double burden of work and family continues to be the biggest career obstacle, both by an operational and economic perspective. Maternity and childcare issues have the direct impact on the women facing pregnancy. The issue of preference of either family or work plays a significant role in the decision making process especially if a woman is not well established in the career. The author identifies one of the most significant trends; that usually instead of striving for childcare provision, women seek help from their parents and rely on the relatives to meet their childcare needs, meaning, state intervention lacks.
A conclusion reached by the author, is that the legislative regulation of labor must be supplemented by legislative safeguards concerns. Time spent with the family needs to be adjusted to the work schedule, and be treated as an independent value, as there are more chances that work stress can take over. The importance of paid work is not always enough to allow people to take care of their families, especially children, and spend sufficient time with them. Therefore, the Australian government needs to restructure the childcare policies to address the challenges women face in their careers today. However, these findings cannot be applied to different countries, as they are specific to Australia.
9. Family Provision at the workplace and their Relationship to Absenteeism, Retention, and Productivity of Workers: Timely Evidence from Prior Data
This study establishes the effects of childcare and family leave provided by employers, on employee absenteeism and the overall productivity of an organization. The Australian Workplace Industrial Relation Survey is the major source of data for this study. The results of the study showed that workplaces that provide on-site childcare and a family leave, register the least level of absenteeism. Those that do not provide on-site childcare and family leave had the highest absenteeism rate. Subsequently those with these policies were more productive than those that did not have the policies. Therefore, the study shows the importance of childcare and family leave policies in organizations.
The limits of this study include its lack of a clear definition of workplace. This in the study is defined as “a single physical area…” It becomes problematic when the study faces multilocation organizations. Additionally, by using secondary data, the researcher lacked personal information of the subjects, such as age, and marital status, which could have had a different effect on the study process. The research ignores the employer’s perspective of not being able to implement the childcare policies. Nonetheless, with the few flaws, the study still presents a relevant trend in Australia, similar to other such studies in the country.
10. Restructuring and Women Workers in Australian Home Care
The implementation of childcare provision and effects on job performance of female employees is presented in this article, based on the restructuring of female employees. This research involves female employees in an Australian home care in the perspective of providing them a work and family life integration. Data was collected through interviews and questionnaires. This research facilitates the understanding of why, in some companies, managers do enable their employees to have the opportunity of balancing their work and family life. Such opportunities include awards and benefits to employees. The authors argue that these should integrate needs of female employees to ensure productivity of an organization. The findings indicated no home helps in Western Australia were given awards or benefits. In addition, more women preferred a skills-related career path. This research was performed in the early 1990s, and may not apply much to the present generation. It is also conducted in Australia, therefore, being limited. However, this still considers childcare provision by employers as boosting company productivity.
The above sources are effective in addressing the limitations women face in their careers because of their position in society. Through various researches, these offer evidence of this scenario in society, and possible interventions. Women continue to face challenges in balancing between career and family. This issue has persisted in society, owing to the women’s position in society. Women equally contribute to the world economy, so, if this challenge lacks redress, more women will give up career, putting the economy at risk. Better childcare and benefits at the government and employers’ level will intervene. Cost reduction for childcare expenses is also vital. The work policies implemented should be effective in their support of female employees. In addition, employers can offer on-site childcare for women at the workplace, to reduce absenteeism, thus boosting company productivity. These are influential in ensuring the retention of women in the labor force, despite the multiple expectations the society has of them.
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