Wells-Lepley, M., Thelen, L. A., Swanberg, J. E. (2015). Supervisors’ Use of Flexibility as a Strategic
Management Tool: Prevalence and Predictors. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 18(1), 31-53. (Link to purchase)
Flexible work arrangements (FWA) allow workers to make choices regarding when, where, and for how long they work. Supervisors are the gatekeepers to this valuable work–family resource, but little is known about their decision-making regarding whether to offer it. Using a survey of supervisors on a major university campus, this study describes supervisors’ experiences offering FWA to staff and the differences between supervisors who manage flexibly and those who do not. Using structural equation modeling, it also determines the specific supervisor attitudes and beliefs and workplace support factors that influence supervisors’ decisions to offer FWA. Results indicate that 2/3 of supervisors offer FWA, usually flextime, and the most significant predictors of a supervisor offering FWA are support from their own supervisor to offer FWA and importance of FWA to staff.