Advancing Job-and Health-associated Outcomes for Employees of Small and Medium Enterprises in Hong Kong: A Study on Workplace Supervisor Support with Smartphone-based and Capacity-building Interventions

  • VYAS, Lina (PI)
  • CHOU, Kee Lee (CoI)
  • CHEUNG, Yue Lok Francis (CoI)
  • ARYEE, Samuel (CoI)

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    Dual-income families are becoming very common in post-industrial cities such as Hong Kong. This, however, causes tension between working parents due to demands for resources from two competing domains: job and family. The local working population reported work-family conflicts between their jobs and family life (Hang-yue, 2005). Providing family-friendly programs (FFPs) is thus a crucial policy in modern-day human resource management for reducing work-family conflicts. Empirical studies highlight how supervisor support for subordinates’ work-life balance (i.e. supervisor flexibility and supervisor sensitivity) is directly associated with lower levels of work-family interference; and how workplace interventions (e.g. alternative work arrangements; perceived flexibility) have to be implemented alongside supervisor support to achieve desired outcomes (Julien, 2007; Kelly et al., 2014; Bagger and Li, 2014). A family-supportive work environment features family-supportive policies and supervisors. It encourages organizational efforts towards balancing work and family responsibilities (Poelmans, 2005). Therefore, in reducing family-work conflict, the supervisors are key targets for interventions. However, most relevant studies focus on the United States; there is none yet in Asian perspectives. Likewise, almost none of these studies have capitalized the benefits of big data and communication technology to enable efficient data collection, real-time analysis and effective stakeholder interaction. Using a cluster-randomized experiment design and a process of smartphone application development, this study evaluates the impact of supervisor training interventions on their subordinates’ job- and health-related outcomes in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) based in Hong Kong using ecological momentary assessment. The study proposes a 6-month randomized controlled trial (RCT) intervention. Using a 2x2 factorial design, 480 supervisors will be randomly clustered into four groups: 1) no intervention; 2) receiving family-supportive-supervisor training; 3) receiving creativity-training for supervisors; and 4) receiving both interventions. The study aspires to assess the impact of supervisor training and supervisor creativity intervention program on job- and health-related outcomes through mediating effect of family-supportive supervisor behaviours. The creativity of the supervisor is crucial in his/ her customisation of a FFP that resolves conflicts between work and non-work/ family issues. This analysis adopts the job-demands-resources (JDR) model (Bakker et al., 2003; Demerouti et al., 2001) and the social exchange theory (Bagger & Li, 2014). It examines the mediating role of (a) quality of perceived exchange relationship, (b) social exchange between the supervisor and the subordinate, (c) social norm regarding the utilization of family-friendly policies, and (d) work-life-balance or conflict in the link between family-supportive supervisor behaviours and job-related outcomes.

    Funding Source: HKSAR Govt - Public Policy Research Funding Scheme (PPR)
    Effective start/end date01/09/19 → 28/02/22


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