International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Mainstreaming Workplace Flexibility: Organizational Change in an Australian Construction Company
Graeme Russell, Linda Haas, Caitriona Comerford, Naomi McGrath

Purpose. This case study evaluates the efforts of an Australian construction company that decided to mainstream flexible work options for all professional employees to promote employees' work-life integration. Approach. Stouten's model of organizational change is used to analyze how this company used work redesign to successfully create a flexible work culture and flexibility options for all employees. Evaluation of the initiative is provided. Findings. Stouten's model proved very useful in interpreting steps needed for the flexibility initiative to be successful, starting off with overcoming resistance in the work culture where flexibility stigma and the ideal worker norm were dominant. We describe how project-based teams were trained to successfully redesign work to promote flexibility. Assessment indicated positive impact of increased flexibility on work attitudes and performance, teamwork, relations with supervisors, personal and family well-being and business outcomes. Originality. Few studies consider how an organization can successfully change their culture and structure to support all employees' work flexibility. This case study provides practical information on how flexibility can be successfully implemented and permanently integrated into traditional companies dominated by male workforces as well as how to measure the impact of a flexibility initiative. Implications. More companies will become drawn to developing flexible work arrangements after the pandemic increased interest in flexible work. Companies steeped in a traditional work culture based on long hours can change to create a work culture based on flexibility, with positive outcomes for organizational and employee well-being.

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