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Title: Exploring flexible work arrangements in relation to the notion of the 'ideal worker' : a case study in a Maltese ICT organisation
Authors: Zammit, Loranne
Keywords: Flexible work arrangements -- Malta
Information technology
Women -- Employment -- Malta
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: The main aim of this qualitative study, which is set in a Maltese ICT organisation, is to explore the attitudes of senior management towards Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) and how these are applied in the case study organisation. The study uses the gendered lens to look at the issue of FWAs and builds on Acker’s Theory of Gendered Organisations (Acker, 1990). The research adopts an interpretivist approach and is based on eight in-depth one-to-one interviews with male informants, who are at senior management level. The themes emerging from the information collected were analysed using Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The research shows that the managers’ attitudes towards FWAs vary and this is reflected in the different ways that FWAs are practised in the studied Maltese ICT organisation. Such differences are related to their perceptions, values and past experiences in managing works on flexible schedules. In the studied context, the higher ranked employees at senior management level had less access to FWAs, and because of the sensitivity of certain ICT jobs not all workers could make use of telework. Furthermore, due to inherited organisational culture, FWAs were generally associated with mothers who have a family and caring commitments. Ultimately, this creates a glass ceiling, which hinders women with caring responsibilities who use FWAs, from occupying top management positions in the organisation. Overall, the attitudes towards FWAs in the studied organisation seem to revolve around Acker’s notion of the ‘ideal worker’ that builds on masculine values. Such values are not immediately visible, but are unconsciously embedded in the day-to-day work practices and especially in relation to FWAs.
Description: B.WORK&H.R.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - CenLS - 2015

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