THE INDIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK Tata Institute of Volume 75,...
Tata Institute
Volume 75, Issue 2
Social Sciences
April, 2014
Anger as an Outcome of Work Exhaustion and
Work Family Conflict
B. AiswAryA And G. rAmAsundArAm
Women function within the family domain in multiple roles simultaneously operating as
mothers, spouses, housekeepers and daughters-in-law. Today, another role is added to
those already existing roles—a ful time employee outside the home. The relationship be-
tween these dual roles has thus become a topic of interest among organisational research-
ers. In most studies, researchers have found that carrying out these dual roles often leads
to work-family conflict for both men and women. The author has at empted to study the im-
pact of work exhaustion on women at work with anger as an outcome. Structural equational
modeling technique is adopted in statistical analysis to study the impact of two or more
variables. The output reveals the significant relationships and their dimensions.
B. Aiswarya is a Professor with the Department of Management Studies, Sathyabama
University, Chennai; and G. Ramasundaram is a Professor with the Department of
Management Studies, St. Joseph’s College of Engineering, Chennai.
A conflict between the domains of work and family occur when pressures
in one domain limits an individual from meeting the obligations in another
(Greenhaus and Beutall, 1985). Some researchers have used global
measures of work and family conflict to study the significant changes
in the social conceptions of gender, parenthood and work identity (for
example, Bedeian, Burke and Moffett, 1988) in the past.
Current research suggests that there are two distinct constructs: work
interfering with family and causing conflict, and family interfering with
work and causing conflict (Carlson Kacmar and Williams, 2000; Frone,
Russell and Cooper, 1992; Frone, Russell and Barnes, 1996). Yet, little
research has been done nor hypotheses formulated as to why an individual
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

188 B. Aiswarya and G. Ramasundaram
determines that work is interfering with family (WIF) roles rather than
the family interfering with work roles (FIW). Considerable efforts to
determine antecedents for both WIF and FIW have been undertaken.
Researchers have considered unique antecedents for each construct as
well as moderators; some variables have been objective (for example, the
number of hours worked).
In addition to demographic variables, role stress variables (for example,
role conflict, role ambiguity and role overload) are popular constructs
found in many work and family conflict models.
Researchers typically focus on some combination of objective and
perceptual variables that influence WIF and FIW. However, there are several
important omissions in the literature that determine the ability to consistently
predict WIF and FIW. The variables that lead to each type of conflict need to
be clearly identified for the clarification of WIF or FIW determinants.
With changes in societal demographics, including a growing number of
dual career and single parent families, there has been much discussion in
the popular press about work family conflict. Even with a growing number
of companies insisting on work life benefits, very little research has been
done on the outcome of such benefits in the work place.
The Industry
The Indian Information Technology and Business Processing Outsourcing
(IT-BPO) Industry has emerged as the largest private sector employer in
the country, with direct employment of 2.23 million professionals and
indirect employment of over eight million people in different industry
sectors. The IT-BPO industry has remained fairly gender neutral providing
equal opportunities for both men and women. The participation of women
in the workforce is seen as a critical enabling factor for the continued
growth of the industry.
India has more working women than does any other country in the world.
Out of the entire workforce of 400 million, 30–35 percent are females
and of them 20 percent work in urban India. This figure can largely be
attributed to the growth of the IT-BPO industry, which is one of the largest
recruiters of a qualified workforce in the recent times.
Approximately 25–30 percent of the population entering the IT industry
are women. This is as a consequence of various factors:
• the number of women graduating from engineering colleges has been
on the rise
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

Anger as an Outcome of Work Exhaustion and Work Family Conflict 189
• the idea of a working spouse is more widely accepted
• the IT-BPO industry is generally perceived to offer a safe friendly work
Despite this, many women leave the workforce as they progress through
ranks for very different reasons. While men leave for career opportunities,
women tend to leave for personal reasons. Organisations, insisting in the
career development of their female workforce, stand to lose in many ways
from the “Brain Drain”. The leaking pipeline report shows that across
regions, globally, the percentage of working women in the 30 and above
age group is significantly lower than that of women in their 20’s indicating
that this is the stage when women tend to leave the workforce. This is
true in India as well, where women often leave the workforce due to their
inability to achieve a strong worklife balance.
The IT-BPO industry has played a pivotal role in bridging the gender
divide in the Indian workforce by ensuing no bias while offering positions
to women candidates. With one of the highest gender ratios for the
workforce, the industry has witnessed an increase in the number of women
professionals over the years, which is estimated to reach 31 percent by FY
In addition, about one fifth of the female employees in the IT-BPO
industry are at the managerial level or above, indicating the numerous
opportunities provided to them by the industry. The increase can be
attributed to the gender agnostic requirements of the industry and the
flexible work environment provided by the IT-BPO companies.
Companies have encouraged women participation through various
initiatives which take care of the special needs of the female employees
(NASSCOM, 2009).
Tamilnadu (TN) has been amongst the top three states in terms of ICT
(Information Communication Technology) investments and production. It
has emerged as a hub for software, hardware, and research and development.
The number of Indian and multinational organisations having a presence
in Tamilnadu are a testimony to this.
Review of Literature
Work Family Conflict
Work/family conflict occurs when work and family pressures occur at the
same time such that compliance with pressures in one domain (for example,
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

190 B. Aiswarya and G. Ramasundaram
work) makes it more difficult to comply with pressures in another domain
(for example, family).
Most work/family conflict research to date developed and tested
antecedents and outcomes of work/family conflict (Frone, Russell and
Cooper, 1992; 1997; Grandey and Cropanzano, 1999; Greenhaus and
Beutall, 1985; Kopelman, Greehaus and Connolly, 1983). Kopelman and
others (1983) were among the first to systematically examine the construct
of work/family conflict.
They began by defining three role conflict variables: work conflict,
family conflict and interrole conflict. Work conflict is the extent to which
one experiences incompatible role pressures with regard to family.
Interrole conflict occurs when one experiences pressures of one role that
are discordant with pressures in another role. Kopelman and others (1983)
developed three scales to measure each of these constructs and assessed
the scale validity with data samples.
The findings of Kopelman and others (1983) did provide evidence of
construct validity for three dimensions of conflict. Specifically, results of
their path analyses indicated a negative relationship between work conflict
and job satisfaction. Work conflict and family conflict were modestly
A number of other researchers (Grandey and Cropanzano, 1999;
Greenhaus and Beutall, 1985; Greenhaus and Parasuraman, 1986; Frone
and others, 1992) built upon Kopelman and others (1983) work by
developing and testing additional models of work/family conflict. For
example, based on a review of previous literature, Greenhaus and Beutall
(1985) articulated three potential sources of work/ family conflict: time
based conflict, strain based conflict and behaviour based conflict.
Time based conflict occurs when time spent in one role (based on the
number of hours worked, inflexibility in work scheduling, and shift works)
leads to difficulty in fulfilling another role. Strain based conflict occurs
when strain such as tension, anxiety, irritability and so on occurring from
one role makes it difficult to perform a second role. Behaviour based
conflict takes place when behaviour (for example, expectation) in one role
leads to difficulty in meeting the requirements of another role.
Greenhaus and Beutall (1985) focused on potential sources of
interrole conflict between work and non work only to the extent that
aspects of the work role are likely to be directly related to interrole
conflict. Frone and others (1992) extended work/family conflict
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

Anger as an Outcome of Work Exhaustion and Work Family Conflict 191
research by empirically demonstrating that the work/family interface
is bidirectional, such that work interferes with family and family
interferes with work.
In addition, family to work conflict was positively related to job
distress and depression. Using a time lagged design, Grandey and
Cropanzano (1999) developed and tested a model of work/family
conflict based on the conservation of resources model. Their model
identified aspects of employees work and home situations that lead to
work and family roles’ stress and work to family conflict and family to
work conflict.
Marital status and number of children explained variance in family
role stress and variance in family to work conflict such that those with
more children, unmarried individuals and women reported more family
role stress and family to work conflict. With regard to outcomes of work
to family construct, Grandey and Cropanzano (1999) found that work
to family conflict predicted family distress. Job distress, but not family
distress, significantly predicted turnover intentions, life distress and poor
physical health.
Although Grandey and Cropanzano (1999) found that having children
at home is a significant predictor of work/family conflict, other studies
have found that children’s age is an important determinant regarding
one’s ability to meet work and family demands (Bedeian, Burke and
Moffette, 1988; Voydanoff,1988). Having younger children (pre-school
age) is more closely related to work/family conflict than having older
Allen and others (2000) reviewed previous research regarding the
outcomes of work family conflict and included many more outcome
variables than Kossek and Ozeki (1998). They also categorised work/
family conflict outcomes into three groups: work related, non work related
and stress related outcomes.
In terms of work related outcomes, higher levels of work/family
conflict are associated with decreased job satisfaction, decreased career
satisfaction, decreased organisational commitment, increased absenteeism,
turnover intentions and decreased job performance.
Work conflict is the extent to which one experiences incompatible
role pressures within the work domain. Similarly, family conflict is the
extent to which one experiences incompatible role pressures with regard
to family. Work/family conflict is a type of interrole that occurs when one
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

192 B. Aiswarya and G. Ramasundaram
experiences pressures of one role (for example, work) that are discordant
with pressures in another role (Kopelman and others, 1983).
Duxbury and Higgins (1991) concluded that societal expectations
regarding gender role expectations have not changed as much as expected
over the past few decades. More recently, Eagle, Miles and Icenogle
(1997) sought to determine if there are gender differences in the extent to
which employees work demands are permitted to intrude into this family
role and vice versa.
Work Exhaustion
Work exhaustion is about the work itself and reflects a salient frustration
about job outcomes (Moore, 2000). The literature shows that the
consequences of work exhaustion include reduced organisational
commitment (Lee and Ashforth, 1996; Leiter and Maslach, 1988; Thomas
and Williams, 1995).
Employees are likely to decrease their organisational commitment
as their work exhaustion increases because they will lose faith that the
company can take care of them by providing an acceptable work life.
The two variables, namely, organisational commitment and work
exhaustion are complementary because one is about the job and the other
is about the organisation. While organisational commitment increases
positive effect, work exhaustion increases negative effect. Work overload
has a strong influence on work exhaustion (Moore, 2000) and thus leads to
burnout when overburdened.
There is much research on the relationship between perceived work
overload, autonomy rewards and turnover intention with work exhaustion.
In virtual settings, a blurring of home and work boundaries has been linked
with stress and exhaustion (Salaff, 2002).
A model by Schulz, Cowan, Cowan and Brennan (2004) delineates how
home demands intrude into work life through family/work conflict and
may result in higher levels of exhaustion. Moreover, research has shown
that more elaborate models including reciprocal relationships between
job demands and exhaustion may be appropriate (Demerouti, Bakker and
Bulters, 2004).
Lee and Ashforth (1996) and Wright and Cropanzano (1998) have used
the conservation of resources model of stress as a theoretical frame work
to better understand emotional exhaustion.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

Anger as an Outcome of Work Exhaustion and Work Family Conflict 193
The employees in the IT- BPO industry frequently face long hours,
excessive travel and stress associated with project deadlines (Goff,
2001) making them prone to work exhaustion. Such social interactions
may mitigate the effects of work exhaustion on organisational
On the contrary, physical distance severely restricts a face to face
social interaction, which means that the effects of work exhaustion on
organisational commitment will not be mitigated (Gaines and Jermier,
1983). An increased intensity of the load reactions in turn will make higher
demands on the recovery process and lead to exhaustion (Demerouti,
Bakker and Bulters, 2004; Byron, 2005).
A growing consensus among researchers has concluded that emotional
exhaustion is also the key component of job burnout (Cordes and
Dougherty, 1993; Wright and Bonett, 1997; Wright and Cropanzano
1998). Emotional exhaustion includes symptoms like physical fatigue and
feeling psychologically drained.
This frame work proposes that emotional exhaustion can occur in a
situation in which one’s resources are inadequate to meet work demands
(Wright and Cropanzano, 1998). Therefore, an inverse relationship should
exist between resources and emotional exhaustion. Research indicated that
perceived work interference in family and family interference in work are
associated with emotional exhaustion.
Research has linked perceived work interference with family to
increased burnout. Moreover, it is stated that perceived conflict from
family responsibilities interfering with work will also be associated with
emotional exhaustion (Bacharach, Bamberger and Conley, 1991; Burke,
1988; Drory and Shamir, 1988 ).
Anger is an emotion that involves a strong uncomfortable psychological
response to a particular provocation. Researchers have considered this as
one of the effects of the individual’s role conflicts (Mayer and Salovey,
1997). Anger is associated with tense, verbal and non verbal (Averill,
1982; Shaver and others, 1987) attachments.
Anger generates a physiological response of arousal under certain
conditions (Hardy and Smith, 1988, Smith and others, 1988). It has
been identified that frustration in the workplace is one of the highest
forms of interpersonal conflict that people generally encounter (Allcorn,
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

194 B. Aiswarya and G. Ramasundaram
1994; Bensimon, 1997). It is understood that anger in particular will be
frequently experienced, but not always an expressed emotion at the work
The behaviour of women in the workplace is studied by the researchers
and various theories have been propounded. One of the significant
consequences of work/family conflict is anger. It is a negative outcome
of work/family conflict (Clark and Watson, 1991). When anger is being
viewed from a employee’s perspective, expressed anger commonly
called as anger out, and suppressed anger commonly called as anger in,
are revealed along with health complaints. Studies have proved negative
health effect in the mode of handling anger (Engebretson, Matthews and
Scheier, 1989). Anger out has been found to have a greater cardiovascular
reactivity to stress (Goldstein, Edelberg, Meier, and Davis,1989;
Suarez and Williams, 1990) and anger in fosters an increase in pulse
rate (Funkenstein, King, and Drolette, 1954), hypertension (Cottington
and others, 1986), mortality because of hypertension (Julius, Harburg,
Cottington and Johnson, 1986), and heart disease (Haynes, Feinleib and
Kannel, 1980).
People who hold anger in are not able to resolve the issues that are
generated by the anger. This bottled up anger inhibits interaction with
others and creates relationship strains (Smith, Pope, Sanders, Allred and
O’keeffe, 1988). People who express anger provoke and offend others.
Such reactions often create unpleasant responses that contribute to a very
hostile climate for any pleasant interaction and leads to less satisfying
social relations (Smith and Frohm, 1985).
Researchers have considered the effects of individual differences on
various features of workplace anger scripts (emotion related dispositional
variables) such as emotional intelligence (Mayer and Salovey, 1997),
negative affectivity (Clark and Watson, 1991) and even the so called
chronic anger (Diamond, 1982). However, factor analysis by Siegel
(1986) and Suarez and Williams (1990) have found that both anger in
and anger out are independent rather than at opposite ends of the same
Thus by curtailing work/family conflict for employees, anger which
is a delirious outcome of it, can be minimised along with its effects on
the individual’s health and the impact on the organisational growth in a
broader sense (Goldstein, Edelberg, Mcier and Davis, 1989; Suarez and
Williams, 1990).
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

Anger as an Outcome of Work Exhaustion and Work Family Conflict 195
Research Design
The design applied in the study is descriptive research design. It is
appropriate to use this method as this tries to understand the outcome of
the different variables contributing to role conflict.
Both primary and secondary data are used in the study to fulfill
the objective. The data was collected from respondents regarding
demographic variables including age, number, gender and age of
children, educational level, marital status, employment experience,
positions and salary.
A set of suitable questions were framed to satisfy the objective of the study
with the help of the previous studies and literature review for the selected
variables. Suitable statements have been identified and drafted so as to
match the variables included in the research work. The statements were
tested for reliability and validity.
A structured questionnaire has been used for gathering data from
respondents for the study, which was further redrafted based on the results
of the pilot study with 50 respondents and tested for reliability. The
questionnaire consists of both qualitative and quantitative items. Besides,
multiple choice questions, different types of scales are used to measure the
respective variables.
As the population size is very large (0.21 million), sampling technique
has been applied to conduct this study. In this study, population refers
to women employees in IT and Information Technology Enabled Service
(ITES) firms located in Chennai city.
Sample unit of this study consists of married and unmarried employed
women in the IT industry in Chennai. Therefore, convenience sample
technique was adopted for selecting the sample units. Thousand
questionnaires were distributed among respondents, but only 735 were
received after continuous follow-up. Among the collected questionnaires,
only 598 filled questionnaires were taken into account for the research, as
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

196 B. Aiswarya and G. Ramasundaram
the others were tampered with, incomplete or returned blank. The margin
of error has been calculated using the formula = n. n stands for sample
size (598), 1.96 stands for standard deviation at 95% confidence level,
p – proportion of women employees in total IT employees, that is, 0.31.
Margin of deviation is 0.037 which is less than the acceptable limit of 0.05.
Validity and Reliability
Reliability of scales is tested with cronbach alpha. The alpha values for
respective scales have satisfied the minimum requirement of 0.7.
Work exhaustion is taken as the independent variable, work life conflict
as an intervening variable and anger as the dependent variable. The direct
impact of work exhaustion on anger is studied and also the indirect impact
of work exhaustion on anger with work life conflict as an intervening
variable is brought in the study. For the above mentioned purpose, factor
analysis was done initially on the variable.
A set of statements relevant for the study variables was subjected to
factor analysis. Whereby these statements were reduced into three different
categories based on relevancy reliability and validity.
Factor Analysis
In order to find out the sample adequacy for conducting factor analysis,
KMO Barlettes test has been applied (Table 1). Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin
sampling adequacy value is more than 0.5, so it is considered as useful for
conducting factor analysis.
TABLE 1: KMO and Bartlett’s Test
Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy.
Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity
Approx. Chi-Square
Degree of freedom
The value 0.914 indicates that 91.4 percent of the total variables are
caused by the underlying factor. Besides, the chi-square value and the
significant value received, the factor analysis is useful for this data. Finally,
the set of statements were categorised.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

Anger as an Outcome of Work Exhaustion and Work Family Conflict 197
To determine the role conflict of employed women arising because of
time, six statements were used (Table 2). The eigen value for this factor
is 7.198 and it accounts for 22.347 percent of variance. Six statements in
the table indicate strong relationships among them and are grouped under
the single factor.
Based on the meaning of the statements, this factor is named as work/
family conflict time-based. Factor loading for work/family conflict time
varies from 0.763 to 0.595. The reliability is measured with cronbach
alpha that is found to be 0.867, which is the acceptable limit.
TABLE 2: Time
S.N. Statement
% of
The time I must devote to my job
keeps me from participating equally
in household responsibilities and
My work often keeps me away from
my family events
I have to miss family activities due
to the amount of time I must spend
on work responsibilities
The time I spend on family respon-
sibilities often interfere with my
work responsibilities
I have to miss work activities due to
the amount of time I must spend on
family responsibilities
The time I spend with my family
often causes me not to spend time
in activities at work that could be
helpful to my career
The second factor contains five statements that have significant correlation
between them. Factor loading for these statements are high which have
scored between 0.786 and 0.607. The data related to all the five statements
reveal that the work/family conflict that arises is strain-based (Table 3).
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

198 B. Aiswarya and G. Ramasundaram
The strain-encountered in one domain (work) makes it difficult to
fulfill the needs of another domain (family).Therefore this factor is
called work/ family conflict (strain based). Eigen value for this factor is
1.476 and explains 20.564 percent variance. The reliability coefficient
is 0.863.
TABLE 3: Strain
S.N. Statement
% of
I am often stressed from family
responsibilities so I cannot concen-
trate on my work
Due to stress at home I am preoc-
cupied with family matters at work
Tension and anxiety from my fam-
ily life often weakens my ability to
do my job
I am often so emotionally drained
due to work that it prevents me
from contributing to my family
Due to pressure at work, I am too
stressed to do the things I enjoy at
The third factor consists of five statements which represent the work/
family conflict because of the behaviour. These statements are highly
correlated with each other and are grouped together and called as work
life conflict behavior-based (Table 4).
The loading factor for these five statements ranges from 0.817 to 0.613,
and the eigen value is 1.189 and it accounts for 18.730 percent of variance.
The reliability is 0.816, which is considered to be acceptable. Out of
the total eighteen statements taken for the study, two statements with
the loading factor less than 0.5 is suppressed and the remaining sixteen
statements have been taken for the study.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

Anger as an Outcome of Work Exhaustion and Work Family Conflict 199
TABLE 4: Behaviour
S.N. Statement
% of
The behaviours that work for me at
home do not seem to be effective
at work
The problem solving behaviour
that works for me at home does not
seem to be as useful at work
Behaviours that are effective and
necessary for me at home would be
counterproductive at work
The behaviours that work for me
effectively at work do not help me
to be a better parent and spouse
The problem solving behaviour I
use in my job is not effective in
resolving problems at home
The factor ‘exhaustion’ is represented by four statements mentioned (Table 5).
Eigen value for this factor is 2.950 and it is accounted for 8.029 percent
of variance. The loading factor for the statements range from 0.811 to
0.684 with the cronbach alpha value 0.814. All the above statements
exhibit physical and emotional drain because of work. Therefore, it is
appropriate to label the factor as work exhaustion.
TABLE 5: Work Exhaustion
S.N. Statement
% of
I feel burnout from work
I feel fatigued when I get up in the
morning and have to face another
day on the job
I feel exhausted physically at the
end of the work day
I feel emotionally drained from my
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

200 B. Aiswarya and G. Ramasundaram
The fifth factor consists of five statements with the loading factor ranging
from the highest of 0.722 and the lowest as 0.610 (Table 6).
The eigen value is 9.984 carrying a reliability co-efficient of 0.764. All
these statements throw light on various shades of anger while on the job.
Therefore, these statements are appropriately called as representing anger.
TABLE 6: Anger
S.N. Statement
% of
I feel angry when I am not given
recognition for doing good work
When I get frustrated, I feel like
hitting someone
It makes me furious when I am
criticised in front of others
When I get mad, I say nasty things
I am short tempered
The structural equation modeling is a statistical model that seeks to
explain the relationship among multiple variables. It depicts all of the
relationships and variables involved in the analysis.
With this model work family conflict is considered as the independent
variable and the consequences, namely, anger, is the dependent variable.
It is more convenient to portray a visual form known as the path diagram.
The straight arrow depicts a dependent relationship, the impact of one
variable on another variable causes or antecedents the effect or outcomes.
In the study, the work family conflict is categorised into three dimensions
of time, strain, and behaviour as already discussed.
Work exhaustion is having the highest impact on work life conflict time
(0.797) followed by work family conflict strain and work family conflict
behavior, respectively. The standard error for each estimate is presented in
the table. The probability values denote the significance of the relationship.
Almost all the relationships are significant except the dimensions of work/
family conflict on anger as a variable. The standard errors are minimum
and range from 0.05–0.15. Goodness of fit indicates how well the specified
model reproduces the co-variance matrix among the indicator items.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

Anger as an Outcome of Work Exhaustion and Work Family Conflict 201
FIGURE 1: The Impact of Work Exhaustion — A Model
- Work Exhaustion
- Anger
WFCT - Work Life Conflict Time
WFCS - Work Family Conflict Strain
WFCB - Work Family Conflict Behaviour
- Standard Error
Goodness of fit index is a fit statistic and values of greater than 0.80 are
typically considered good. The goodness of fit value is 0.85 and coincides
with the fit model criteria. The lower root means residual values which
represent better fit and higher values represent worse fit.
The root mean square error of approximation is another measure that
attempts goodness of fit test. It better represents how well a model fits a
population, not just a sample used for estimation. Lower RMSEA values
indicate better fit and is estimated to be 0.125 in the proposed model.
Preventive Measures
As observed very less percentage of women who are above the age of
forty years seem to stay with the job. Therefore, steps to retain senior
and experienced employees must be looked into. Formulation of certain
measures to encourage women employees of IT and help them to achieve
higher levels of managerial positions is of primary importance.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

202 B. Aiswarya and G. Ramasundaram
It is found that women employees in IT sector do not stay with the same
organisation for a long duration. Retaining the employees is of utmost
importance. This can be achieved through regular surveys by measuring
the job satisfaction levels, which is one of the consequences of role conflict.
It is evident that married women are subjected to more work life conflict than
unmarried women. Hence, married women can be helped through workshops
and training programmes. Work exhaustion is found to be a significant factor
leading to work life conflict. Work pressure is required so as to meet the
demands, but not to the level wherein the employees feel exhausted.
To avoid exhaustion during work, flexible breaks during long working
hours, get togethers during weekends with their family members, and
sponsoring a vacation with the family can be introduced. Motivation
by way of incentives, perks, recognition, and promotion can also be
The study indicates that working women harbour guilt feelings and do
not give their full concentration towards their family, especially children.
This gives rise to work family conflict when the demands from the family
spillover into the workplace. This is likely to happen when women bring
unfinished work home, are unable to meet deadlines, and are therefore
unable to spend quality time with the family.
Organisational strategies
Modifications in company regulations will greatly help women
professionals to cope with dual responsibilities at home and their work.
Longer maternity leave
A long leave of six months twice in their career with half or full pay is one
critical aspect that needs consideration.
Part time
The number of women employees seems to be decreasing as the number of
working hours increase. Therefore, women can be provided with an option
of part time jobs. The arrangement may vary from an employee working
four to five hours per day to an employee working three days a week.
Flexible working hours especially during the child rearing stages of
women can be considered without compromising on organisational goals
and objective.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

Anger as an Outcome of Work Exhaustion and Work Family Conflict 203
Compressed work week
In this type of arrangement, an employee can be given an option of longer
working hours per day and then have a day off. This flexibility helps
working women to schedule their family and work demands accordingly.
Work from home option
Although working from home is practiced extensively in many
countries, this option is available with only a few organisations in India.
Telecommuting or work from home is allowing the employees to work
from any site other than the employers’ workplace with well connected
modes of communication. This to a certain extent can help to resolve role
conflict and there by camouflage its consequences.
It appears from the study that a small percentage of women employees
have children below the age of ten years. The lack of professional child
care facilities is a major problem faced by women employees in IT
sector. Organisations can plan for paid crèche facilities within their
Women’s grievance cell
The organisation can set up a forum to address the problems faced by
women employees. This would enable them to identify the antecedents
and the ways to reduce role conflicts.
Mentoring and counseling
When women quit their jobs for taking care of children and the elderly,
and inconvenient working hours, it is also a loss to the concerned
organisation as a considerable amount of investment has been made
on the concerned employees towards training and development. The
organisation can ensure proper mentoring of its employees by finding
ways to tackle the situation.
Other facilities
The study indicates that employees are under tremendous pressure to meet
deadlines. It is suggested that organisations can provide yoga and gym
facilities in their premises.
Working Environment
Providing a friendly and peaceful atmosphere will enhance the productivity
of the employees.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

204 B. Aiswarya and G. Ramasundaram
Redesign the task
In order to reduce monotony, jobs can be restructured to suit the individual’s
skills and interests with the introduction of growth oriented goals.
The research examines the role conflict of women employees in the
information technology sector. In summary, this study provides a
comprehensive frame work of the antecedents and consequences of work
and family conflict. The results are in conformity with some of the previous
research works conducted in different industries and countries.
This study identifies three specific dimensions of work life conflict,
namely time, strain and behaviour. The influence of the selected antecedents
on the various dimensions of work life conflict and the impact of work
family conflict are dealt in detail.
Allcorn, S.
: Anger in the Workplace: Understanding the Causes of
Aggression and Violence, Westport CT: Quorum Books.
Allen, T.D.,
: Consequences Associated with Work-to-Family Conflict:
Herst, D. E. L.,
A Review and Agenda for Future Research, Journal of
Bruck, C. S. and
Occupational Health Psychology, 5(2), 278–308.
Sutton, M.
Averill, J.
: Anger and Aggression: An Essay on Emotion, Symbolic
Interaction, 8(2), 314 –317.
Bachrach, S.
: Work-home Conflict among Nurses and Engineers: Mediating
Bamberger, P. and
the Impact of Role Stress on Burnout and Satisfaction of Work,
Conley, S.
Journal of Organisational Behaviour, 12(1), 39–53.
Bensimon, H.
: What to do about Anger in the Workplace, Training and
Development, 51(9), 28–32.
Burke, R.J.
: Some Antecedents and Consequences of Work-Family Conflict,
Journal of Social Behaviour and Peronality, 3, 287–302.
Byron, K.
: A Meta-Analytic Review of Work Family Conflict and its
Antecedents, Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 67(2), 169–198.
Carlson, D.S.,
: Construction and Initial Validation of a Multidimensional
Kacmar, K.M. and
Measure of Work-Family Conflict, Journal of Vocational
Williams L.J.
Behaviour, 56(2), 249–276.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

Anger as an Outcome of Work Exhaustion and Work Family Conflict 205
Clark, L.A. and
: Tripartite Model of Anxiety and Depression: Psychometric
Watson, D.
Evidence and Taxonomic Implications, Journal of Abnormal
Psychology, 100(3), 316–336.
Cordes, C.L. and
: A Review and Integration of Research on Job Burnout, Academy
Dougherty, T.W.
of Management Review, 18(4), 621–656.
Cottington, E.M.,
: ‘Occupational Stress, Suppressed Anger, and Hypertension’,
Matthews, K.A.,
Psychosomatic Medicine, 48(3 4), 249–260.
Talbot, D. and
Kuller, L.H.
Demerouti, E.,
: The Loss Spiral of Work Pressure, Work–Home Interference
Bakker, A.B. and
and Exhaustion: Reciprocal Relationships in a Three-wave
Bulters, A.
Study, Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 64(1), 131–149.
Diamond, E.
: The Role of Anger and Hostility in Essential Hypertension and
Coronary Heart Disease, Psychological Bulletin, 92(2), 410–
Drory, A. and
: Effects of Organisational and Life Variables on Job Satisfaction
Shamir, B.
and Burnout, Group and Organisational Studies, 13(4), 441–
Duxbury, L. and
: Gender Differences in Work-Family Conflict, Journal of
Higgins, C.
Applied Psychology, 76(1), 60–74.
Eagle, B.W.,
: Interrole Conflict and the Permeability of Work and Family
Miles, E.W. and
Domains: Are There Gender Differences?, Journal of Vocational
Icenogle, M.L.
Behaviour, 50(2), 168–184.
Engebretson, T.O.,
: Relations Between Anger Expression and Cardiovascular
Matthews, K.A. and
Reactivity: Reconciling Inconsistent Findings through a
Scheier, M.F.
Matching Hypothesis, Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 57(3), 513–521.
Frone, M.R.,
: Work-family Conflict, Gender, and Health-related Outcomes:
Russell, M. and
A Study of Employed Parents in two Community Samples,
Barnes, G.M.
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 1(1), 57–69.
Frone, M.R.,
: Antecedents and Outcomes of Work-family Conflict: Testing
Russell, M. and
a Model of the Work Family Interface, Journal of Applied
Cooper, M.L.
Psychology, 77(1), 65–78.
Frone, M.R.,
: Relation of Work Family Conflict to Health Outcomes: A
Russell, M. and
four–year Longitudinal Study of Employed Parents, Journal of
Cooper, M.L.
Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 70(4), 325–335.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

206 B. Aiswarya and G. Ramasundaram
Funkenstein, D.H.,
: The Direction of Anger during a Laboratory Stress-inducing
King, M.D. and
Situation, Psychosomatic Medicine, 16(5), 404–413.
Drolette, M.
Gaines, J. and
: Emotional Exhaustion in a High Stress Organization, Academy
Jermier, J.M.
of Management Journal, 26(4), 567–586.
Goff, L.J.
: Balancing Acts, Computerworld, May 7, 49.
Goldstein, H.S.,
: Relationship of Expressed Anger to Forearm Muscle Vascular
Edelberg, R.,
Resistance, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 33(4), 497–
Meier, C.F. and
Davis, L.
Grandey, A.A. and
: The Conservation of Resources Model Applied to Work-family
Cropanzano, R.
Conflict and Strain, Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 54, 350–
Greenhaus, J.H. and : Sources of Conflict Between Work and Family Roles, Academy
of Management Review, 10(10), 76–88.
Greenhaus, J.H. and : A Work/Non-work Interactive Perspective of Stress and
Parasuraman, R.
its Consequences, Journal of Organizational Behaviour
Management, 8(2), 37–60.
Hardy, J.D. and
: Cynical Hostlity and Vulnerability to Disease: Social Support,
Smith, T.W.
Life Stress, and Pshysiological Response to Conflict, Health
Psychology, 7(5), 447–459.
Haynes, S.G.,
: The Relationship of Psychosocial Factors to Coronary Heart
Feinleib, M. and
Disease in the Framingham Study III: Eight-year Incidence of
Kannel, W.B.
Coronary Heart Disease, American Journal of Epidemiology,
111(1), 37–58.
Julius, M., Harburg, E., : Anger-coping Types, Blood Pressure, and All-cause, Mortality:
Cottington, E.M. and
A Follow-up in Tecumseh-Michigan, American Journal of
Johnson, E.H.
Epidemiology, 124(2), 220–233.
Kopelman, R.E.,
: A Model of Work, Family, and Interrrole Conflict: A Construct
Greehaus, J.H. and
Validition Study, Organizational Behaviour and Human
Connolly, T.F.
Performance, 32(2), 198 –215.
Kossek, E.E. and
: Work-family Conflict, Policies, and the Job Life Satisfaction
Ozeki, C.
Relationship: A Review and Directions for Organizational
Behaviour Human Resources Research, Journal of Applied
Psychology, 83(2), 139–149.
Lee, R.T. and
: A Meta Analytic Examination of the Correlates of the Three
Ashforth, B.E.
Dimensions of Job Burnout, Journal of Applied Psychology,
81(2), 123–133.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

Anger as an Outcome of Work Exhaustion and Work Family Conflict 207
Leiter, M.P. and
: The Impact of Interpersonal Environment on Burnout and
Maslach, C.
Organizational Commitment, Journal of Occupational
Behaviour, 9(4), 297–308.
Mayer, J. and
: What is Emotional Intelligence? In P. Salovey and D. Sluyter
Salovey, P.
(Eds.), Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence,
New York: Basic Books, 3–31.
Moore, J.E.
: One Road to Turnover: An Examination of Work Exhaustion
in Technology Professionals, MIS Quarterly, 24(1), 141–168.
: Impact of the IT-BPO Industry in India: A Decade in Review,
Available online at
Impact_Study_2010_Exec_Summary.pdf (Accessed in 2011)
Salaff, J.W.
: Where Home Is the Office: The New Form of Flexible Work,
(Working Paper), Toronto: Department of Sociology, Centre for
Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto.
Schulz, M.S.,
: Coming Home Upset: Gender, Marital Satisfaction, and the
Cowan, P.A.,
Daily Spillover of Workday Experience into Couple Interactions,
Cowan, C.A. and
Journal of Family Psychology, 18(1), 250–263.
Brennan R.T.
Shaver, P.,
: Emotion Knowledge: Further Exploration of a Prototype
Schwartz, J.,
Approach, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
Kirson, D. and
52(6), 106–1 86.
O’Connor, C.
Siegel, J.M.
: The Multidimensional Anger Inventory, Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, 51(1), 191–200.
Smith, T.W. and
: What’s so Unhealthy about Hostility? Construct Validity and
Frohm, K.D.
Psychosocial Correlates of the Book and Medley Ho Scale,
Health Psychology, 4(6), 503–520.
Smith, T.W.,
: Cynical Hostility at Home and Work: Psychosocial Vulnerability
Pope, M.K.,
across Domains, Journal of Research in Personality, 22(4),
Sanders, J.D.,
Allred, K.D. and
O’Keeffe, J.L.
Suarez, E.C. and
: The Relationship between Dimensions of Hostility and
Williams, R.B.
Cardiovascular Reactivity as a function of Task Characteristics,
Psychosomatic Medicine, 52, 558–570.
Thomas, K.M., and : The Role of Burnout on Organizational Attachment and
Williams, K.L.
Career Mobility, Proceedings of the APA/NIOSH Conference
Ringenbach, K.,
‘Work, Stress and Health’95: Creating Healthier Workplaces’,
Moran, S.K. and
Washington, DC,: American Psychological Association, 265–
Landy, F.J.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014

208 B. Aiswarya and G. Ramasundaram
Voydanoff, P.
: Work Role Characteristics, Family Structure Demands, and
Work Family Conflict, Journal of Marriage and the Family,
50(3), 749–761.
Wright, T.A. and
: Emotional Exhaustion as a Predictor of Job Performance and
Cropanzano, R.
Voluntary Turnover, Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(3),
Wright, T.A. and
: The Contribution of Burnout to Work Performance, Journal of
Bonett, D.G.
Organizational Behaviour, 18(5), 491–499.
IJSW, 75 (2), 187–208, April, 2014