The New Normal? Enhanced Psychological Well-Being from Public Accounting: Mitigating Conflict with Flexibility and Role Clarity
Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research
Accounting and Financial Management
This study, based on our analysis of survey data from 1,242 partners and employees of a U.S. national public accounting firm, examines the impact on psychological well-being from the moderating effects of flexibility and role clarity on work-home conflict experienced by public accountants. Most prior research in public accounting deals with the antecedents and consequences of role stress and primarily focuses on job outcomes of turnover intentions and job satisfaction as dependent variables. Public accounting firms have responded to stressors with worker-friendly policies, largely by introducing flexibility and clarity in their organizational culture. Using a multi-disciplinary research model, we analyze the causal relationships of flexibility and clarity as moderators of the bi-directional nature of work-home conflict (work interference with home and home interference with work) on psychological well-being. Our study finds that perceptions of flexibility and clarity drawn from a career position in public accounting can mitigate role conflict between work and home environments and contribute to enhanced psychological well-being. We also find that certain relationships described in the model are moderated by family status and age, but not by gender. Results of our study have implications to both individual public accountants and to their firms.
Jones, Ambrose & Guthrie, Cynthia P. 2016. The New Normal? Enhanced Psychological Well-Being from Public Accounting: Mitigating Conflict with Flexibility and Role Clarity. Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research. 19: 33-68.