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POLYCHRONICITY, TIME MANAGEMENT AND WORK RELATED QUALITY OF LIFE AMONG BANK EMPLOYEES.

Byline: Javeria Sehrish and Aisha Zubair

ABSTRACT

The present study intended to explore the interaction among polychronicity, time management, and work related quality of life, and to examine the role of varying demographics in relation to variables of the study. The sample consisted of 300 bank employees (private and public sector) from Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Polychronic Attitude Index (Kaufman, Lane, and Lindquist, 1991), Time Management Behavior Scale (Macan, Comila, Dipboye, and Phillips, 1990), and Work Related Quality of Life Scale (Zenga et al., 2011) were administrated. Results showed that time management and work related quality of life were positively associated with each other and negatively correlated with polychronicity. Moreover women were found to be less polychronic, and showed better time management and work related quality of life as compared to their male counterparts. Findings revealed that private sector bank employees exhibit poor time management and work related quality of life and more polychronicity as compared to public sector.

Employees with higher job designation expressed more polychronicity however, non-significant results were observed in relation to time management and work related quality of life.

Keywords: Polychronicity, time management, work related quality of life, bank employees.

INTRODUCTION

Polychronicity is a fascinating concept from an organizational point of view. Since mostly occupations performed multiple tasks, it is interesting to see how people divide their time over these tasks and consider what time concept suits. It is very important for any organization to explore how polychronicity and time management relates, as well as possible resultant effects on the organizations when a person do multiple tasks at a time. Moreover, work related quality of life is shaped by both time management and polychronicity. This would be as the person's better quality of life at work is in direct proportion with elevated job outcomes for oneself as well as for the organization (Kaufman, Lane, and Lindquist, 1991).

Polychronicity has been defined as the degree to which people favor to do two or more tasks simultaneously (Bluedorn, Kaufman, and Lane, 1992; Slocombe and Bluedorn, 1999). Bluedorn (2002) regarded polychronicity as the degree to which people prefer to be engaged in two or more tasks at a time. Similarly Poposki, Oswald, and Chen (2008) proposed that polychronicity is a non-cognitive variable in which focus is on the individual's inclination for changing attention among various tasks instead of paying attention on completion of one task then moving towards to other task.

Delbridge (2000) and Waller (1997) argued that multitasking is a behavioral tendency which enables the person to switch between tasks quickly. However, Koning, Buhner, and Murling (2005) compared polychronicity and multitasking, and suggested that both are related to each other especially polychrons like to being involved in multiple tasks at the same time. At the workplace polychrons do work in their own way, they meet deadlines; don't prefer to keep their time structured; they neither make detailed plans nor they want to do those plans which others wants to imposed on them (Conte and Gintoft, 2005). Conversely, monochrons perceive time as discrete not continuous and consider it to be scheduled into permanent aspects as seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and so on. They always prefer to make schedules in detail and arrange their task in everyday life (Madjar and Oldham, 2006).

Frei, Raciot, and Travagline (1999) found positive association between monochronicity and performance outcomes among academics. However, others recommended that it is useful to investigate the link between polychronicity and performance in diverse occupations and work settings (Conte and Gintoft, 2005; Frei et al., 1999).

According to Hecht and Allen (2005) numerous studies found that performance of an individual can be reduced when one change the attention from task or do multiple tasks at a time. Interruption occurred when a person feel that there is less time to complete the task; thereby experiencing stress and anxiety, resulting in disturbed involvement and attention to the performed task and ultimately leading to negative consequences (Jett and George, 2003). Several studies on polychronicity reveals significant relationship with outcomes related to work like job satisfaction (Souitaris and Maestro, 2010), job performance (Madjar and Oldham, 2006) and employees' organization-based self-esteem (Arndt, Arnold, and Landry, 2006).

Some antecedents of the polychronicity are also explored that are gender, age, international experience, time tangibility, communication style and social interaction styles (Adams and Eerde, 2010). According to Conte et al. (1999) female graduates are less polychronic as compared to male students. Kaufman and Lindquist (1999) also demonstrated that polychronic time is positively related with gender, as women are from higher context than men.

Time Management

Time management is regarded as the ability of an individual that for personal satisfaction may prioritize, schedule, and execute personal responsibilities (Seaward, 2002). From the Claessens, Eerde, Rutte, and Roe (2007) point of view, time management consist of those actions which entail valuable use of time that estimated to enhance efficiency and relieve from stress. Planning behavior is the familiar attribute of the conceptualizations of time management. Planning behavior refers to that which task is important and efficient management from distractions which affected the task performance (Claessens, Van Eerde, Rutte, and Roe, 2004, 2007). Time management is described as a "self-controlled attempt to use time in a subjectively efficient way to achieve outcomes" (Koch and Kleinmann, 2002, p. 201).

Time management is goal achievement at the minimum possible time (Eldeleklioglu, 2008; Karaoglan, 2006; Yes and Ilyaprak, 2003). Most important thing is that how to utilize effectively the available time (Karaoglan, 2006). People who have the ability to utilize time effectively could easily distribute their time among different activities and fields of interests (Sayan, 2005). When people prioritize their activities they can utilize their time appropriately. Two most important steps which are involve in the planning and organizing human life are how a person can achieve their goal in short duration and how to attain their target (Eldeleklioglu, 2008; Waterworth, 2003; Yes and Ilyaprak, 2003). It has been found that polychronicity is interconnected with many characteristics of time management. Moreover, effect of a person's polychronic or monochronic time style has vital concern in understanding his or her personal approach to time management at the work (Madjar and Oldham, 2006).

Earlier researches have indicated that poor planning of time can reduce the academic achievement (Gran-Moravec and Hughes, 2005), lowered individual satisfaction and increased stress level (Karaoglan, 2006), results in problems related to personal and social activities (Hui, Lee, and Niu, 2010), and inability to achieve positive personality traits (Campbell and Svenson, 1992). Empirical evidence suggested that inability to organize time is related with elevated levels of stress and poor work related quality of life (Simpson and Courtney, 2002). Kaya, Kaya, Pallos, and Kucuk (2012) reported significant gender differences in time management with women showing better organizing and time planning skills than men. Similarly, Andic's (2009) also found that female supervisors showed more compliance in scheduling their work and job routines. Likewise, it was observed that female students are low in stress and are good in time management as compared to male students (Akhter, 2005).

Work Related Quality of Life

Currently stress related with work and relationship between work and non-work life domains are important parameters effecting quality of working life (Loscocco and Roschelle, 1991). Feelings of an individual towards their work-related situation and experiences can be explained by the notion of work related quality of life (WRQL; Elizur and Shye, 1990). One of the greatest problems of the modern world is conciliating work with quality of life as well as high levels of stress caused by contemporary life is a consensus among all those who work double shifts and are always under pressure, or among those who work with imminent risks (Santos and Oliveira, 2011). Work related quality of life consists of hierarchy of viewpoints in which not only work-based factors like job satisfaction, satisfaction with pay and interaction with work colleagues included but there are some other aspects that generally reveal life satisfaction and general feelings of well-being (Danna and Griffin, 1999).

According to Elizur and Shye (1990) quality of life and quality of working life both influence the quality of work performance.

Although Killian (2004) found few researches supported the association between work-related stress, general psychological well-being and work related quality of life. An important adverse effect on an individual's general quality of life is of job stress and burn-out, and these should not be evaluated separately from the other factors that influence people at workplace. Safe work environment and the home-work interface are other theoretical factors that are important for WRQL concept (Mirvis and Lawler, 1984; Zedeck and Mosier, 1990; Worrall and Cooper, 2006).

Various studies showed that time management as a factor, not only decreased the stress at work place but also enhance the satisfaction with job and quality of work life (Averill, 1973; Greenberger, Strasser, Cummings, and Dunham, 1989). Time management is considered significant to enhance the quality of work. Time management increases the work quality and management of free time makes its contribution to the quality of life (Wang, Kao, Huan, and Chung-Chi, 2011). From the report of Bureau of Labor Statistics (2009) there is differences on the basis of gender on work related quality of life, mostly men work more than women and do part time jobs too.

Gender differences are observed in work-related quality of life with female production mangers reflecting better work related quality of life as compared to their male counterparts (Resnick and Rosenheck, 2008); however, few studies are based on male employees only; thereby limiting the inference on gender basis (Hoge, Terhakopian, Castro, Messer, and Engel, 2007; Shea, Vujanovic, Mansfield, Sevin, and Liu, 2010; Smith, Schnurr, and Rosenheck, 2005).

Polychronicity has a great impact on our daily life. It is crucial to explore this phenomenon in relation to those aspects of organizational workings which played significant role in workplace behaviors and in which occurrence of this phenomenon is more prominent. Time management is an art and become a fundamental aspect of organizational settings and is reciprocally linked with professional and personal growth. Mostly people performing multiple tasks would not be able to manage their time effectively. In addition to that various factors at the work place are associated with intrinsic satisfaction and quality of work life of the employees. Healthy and happy employees would make fine decisions and positively contribute to the organizational goals. Therefore, work related quality of life of employees is likely to be affected by both polychronicity and time management.

Banking sector is considered as active and dynamic organizational set up where employees are required to be involved in multitasking activities. At the same time multitasking and capabilities of time management may also affect work related quality of life. Present study will focus on the relationship between polychronicity, time management and work related quality of life on the basis of significant association among all these variables based on the earlier empirical evidence. It may also be central to explore from the organizational context that how polychronicity would influence time management abilities and work related quality of life in bankers because they are at a time dealing with clients and performing their other tasks simultaneously. Therefore, the present study was designed with major objectives outlined as: to determine the relationship between polychronicity, time management and work related quality of life.

It was also intended to investigate the role of varying demographic attributes in relation to polychronicity, time management and work related quality of life, e.g. gender, job designation, and private/public sector banks.

In the context of aforementioned objectives following hypothesis were phrased:

1. Time management will be positively associated with work related quality of life.

2. Polychronicity will reflect negative association with time management and work related quality of life.

3. Women would exhibit less polychronicity and exhibit better time management and work related quality of life as compared to men.

4. Private sector employees would be high on polychronicity and likely to exhibit poor time management and work related quality of life as compared to public sector employees.

5. Managers are likely to express more polychronicity and poor time management and work related quality of life as compared to assistant managers and customer relations officers.

METHOD

Participants

A purposive sample of bank employees (N = 300) was approached from the premises of the Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Data was collected from the bank employees of different branches of public (n = 173) and private sector (n = 127). Respondents included both men (n = 217) and women (n = 83) with age ranging from 21 years to 52 years (M = 32.5, SD = 4.26). Minimum job tenure in the same organization varied from 1- 5 years (M = 3.12, SD = 1.23). Job designations of the employees included managers (n = 54), assistant managers (n = 83), and customer relations officers (n = 163). Education level of the participants ranged from the graduation (n = 88) up to masters (n = 212).

Measures

The following measures were used to assess the constructs of the study.

Polychronic Attitude Index

Polychronic Attitude Index (PAI; Kaufman et al., 1991) assesses people's polychronic orientation. This scale consisted of four items to be rated on 5-point scale anchored at each point with modified response categories ranging from (1) Strongly Agree (2) Agree (3) Neutral (4) Disagree to (5) Strongly Disagree. Possible score range of the scale varied from 4 - 20; with high scorers on this scale possess more polychronicity. First three items has reversed scoring as these measured monochronic attitude. Reliability of the scale found to be .79 (Kaufman and Lindquist, 1991) and for the present sample reliability come out to be .71.

Time Management Behavior Scale

Time Management Behavior Scale (TMB; Macan et al., 1990) was used to appraise subjects' use of time management behaviors. TMB scale consisted of 34 time management behavior items; while 12 items were reversely scored. It was categorized into four dimensions; Goal Setting and Priorities (GSP; 10 items), Mechanics (MEC; 11 items), Preference for Organization (PFO; 8 items) and Perceived Control over Time (PCT; 4 items). Participants responded to each item using a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from (1) Never True (2) Very Less True (3) Sometimes True (4) Often True to (5) Always True, with score range from 34 - 170. Individuals who scored high on this scale exhibited better time management. Reported alpha reliabilities from previous studies for the time management dimensions fluctuated from .68 to .83 (Macan et al., 1990). In the present study alpha coefficient for the total scale and subscales were found to be .78, .75, .77, .67, and .64 for TMB, GSP, MEC, PFO, PCT; respectively.

Work Related Quality of Life Scale

Work Related Quality of Life (WRQoL) scale comprised of 24 items and categorized into six factors, that is, Job and Career Satisfaction (JCS; 6 items), General Well-Being (GWB; 7 items) , Stress at Work (SAW; 2 items), Control at Work (CAW; 3 items), Home-Work Interface (HWI; 3 items), Working Conditions (WCS; 3 items). It was a 5-point scale anchored at each point with modified responses categories ranging from (1) Strongly Disagree (2) Disagree (3) Neutral (4) Agree to (5) Strongly Agree. Possible scores range varied from 24 - 120 and high scores on the scale showed better work related quality of life. Cronbach's alpha for the total WRQoL was reported as .92 (Zenga et al., 2011). For the current sample, alpha coefficients for total WRQoL (.85), and subscales, that is, JCS (.75), GWB (.60), SAW (.71), CAW (.72), HWI (.64), and WCS (.78) indicated the scale as dependable measure of the construct.

Procedure

Formal permissions were acquired from the administrative heads of the respective banks. Respondents were approached individually and briefed about the research. They were assured about the confidentiality of the data and ascertained that it would be use for academic purposes only. Individual informed consent was also acquired. Afterwards questionnaire booklet along with demographic sheet was administered. There was no restriction of time for the completion of questionnaires. Later participants were cordially thanked for the provision of valuable information and data.

RESULTS

Pearson Correlation showed polychronicity as significantly negatively related with time management (r = -.13; pLess than .05) and work related quality of life (r = -.19, pLess than .01). Conversely, time management and work related quality of life were significantly positively related with each other (r = .56; p Less than .001).

Table 1: Regression Analyses with Polychronicity and Time management as predictor of Work related quality of life (N = 300)

Scales###B###SE###B###R2###F

Constant###113.83###2.86###

Polychronicity###.44###.20###.43###.17###25.03

Constant###25.07###4.74###

Time Management###.51###.04###.56###.32###138.57

Linear regressions revealed that polychronicity and time management explained 17% (pLess than .05) and 32% (pLess than.001) variance in WRQoL respectively.

Table 2: Gender Differences on Variables of the Study (N = 300)

###Gender###

###Men(n = 217)###Women(n= 83)###t (298)###p###95% CI###Cohen's d

###M###SD###M###SD###LL###UL###

PAI###14.23###3.80###11.72###3.47###2.06###.05###.44###1.45###.33

TMBS###106.74###13.06###110.92###11.49###2.81###.01###.69###.84###.69

WRQL###80.98###11.99###84.08###10.55###2.56###.04###4.28###2.08###.40

Note. PAI = Polychronicity Attitude Index; TMBS = Time Management Behavior Scale; WRQL= Work Related Quality of Life.

Table 2 indicated significant gender differences in polychronicity (p Less than .05), time management (p Less than .01), and work related quality of life (p Less than .04). Results indicated that women express less polychronicity and better time management and work related quality of life as compared to men.

Table 3: Public and Private Sector Differences on Variables of the Study (N = 300)

###Public employees###Private employees

###(n = 99)###(n = 201)###t (298)###p 95% CI###Cohen's d

###M###SD###M###SD###LL###UL###

PAI###13.96###4.01###16.17###3.49###2.98###.00###1.09###.66###.58

TMBS###108.85 11.05###106.71###13.75###2.71###.01###.51###7.29###.33

WRQL###81.70###9.93###77.40###12.62###2.34###.04###.41###5.12###.38

Note. PAI = Polychronicity Attitude Index; TMBS = Time Management Behavior Scale; WRQL= Work Related Quality of Life Scale.

Result of Table 3 showed that there were significant differences in polychronicity (p Less than .001), time management (p Less than .01), and work related quality of life (p Less than .05) among public and private sector employees. It was observed that polychronicity was more among private sector bank employees; whereas time management and work related quality of life was better in public sector employees as compared to their counterparts.

Table 4: One-Way Analysis of Variance and post hoc for Job Designation on Variables of the Study (N=300)

###Job designation

###CRO###Assitst.###Manager###F###Post Hoc

###(n = 163)###Manager###(n = 54)###

###(n = 83)

###M###SD###M###SD###M###SD###

PAI###13.76###3.70###11.72###3.47###15.31###3.68 3.73###3(Greater than)1,2 1(Greater than)2

TMBS###107.75 13.52 108.60 12.31###105.69###10.56###.88###ns

WRQL###80.00 11.92###80.99 10.95###80.54###11.74###.20###ns

Note. PAI = Polychronicity Attitude Index; TMBS = Time Management Behavior Scale; WRQL= Work Related Quality of Life Scale; CRO = Customer Relationship Officer. p Less than .05

Results of Table 4 showed analysis of variance in relation to polychronicity, time management, and work related quality of life along different job designations. It was found that among the three groups of job designations; managers display more polychronicity as compared to assistant managers and CROs. Further post hoc analysis revealed that managers display highest polychronic tendencies as compared to CROs and assistant managers whereas CROs showed more polychronic attitude as compared to assistant managers. However, non-significant differences existed in relation to time management and work related quality of life along different job designations.

DISCUSSION

With reference to first hypothesis, correlation analysis revealed positive association between time management and work related quality of life. These results are in accordance to the earlier evidence which has shown that better time management skills are associated with job satisfaction, personal well-being, and work outcomes (Kaya et al., 2012). Likewise another study revealed that time management significantly enhances the quality of work life (Wang, Kao, Huan, and Chung-Chi, 2011). Additionally, significant positive relationship between time management and work related quality of life has been inferred in the studies of Averill (1973) and Greenberger et al. (1989).

In accordance to second hypothesis, correlation analysis indicated that there was significant negative association between polychronicity and time management. Earlier evidences also showed that polychroniciy and time management were negatively related among employees working in different occupational setups (Kaufman and Lindquist, 1999). Moreover past literature has revealed that monochronicity (opposite of polychronicity) was positively related with time management (Farris, 1995). Similarly, it has been observed that polychronicity and time urgency are negatively correlated with each other. Because polychrons do not schedule their task, neither give importance to time nor do they plan what they have to do next (Conte, Rizutto, and Steiner, 1999).

Results showed significant negative association between polychronicity and work related quality of life. These findings are in line with the earlier evidence indicating that polychronicity is related with heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and turnover intentions (Koning, Buhner, and Murling, 2005). Moreover, it was found that managers display lack of intrinsic motivation and poor quality of work life associated with multitasking in their work roles (Loscocco and Roschelle, 1991).

Results of the third hypothesis showed significant gender differences among bank employees. It was found that female employees were less polychronic but better in time management and work related quality of life. These findings were quite in line with earlier empirical evidence which has shown that female students were less polychronic as compared to male students (Conte et al., 1999). Similarly, it was found that on the subscales of time attitude female high school students' scores were significantly higher than the male students (Kaufman et al., 1999). Similarly female supervisors were found to generally manage their time better than male supervisors and they can complete those tasks which they considered more time consuming in the short time (Eldeleklioglu, 2008). In addition to that, work related quality of life was higher among female employees as compared to males (Elizur and Shye, 1990).

Further evidence was provided by Danna and Griffin (1999) inferring that women exhibit more affective maturity, resilience, and quality of life related with work behaviors. Greenberger et al. (1989) reported more adjustment problems and reduced levels of work life satisfaction among male supervisors than the female employees.

Findings of the fourth hypothesis showed that private sector employees exhibited more polychronicity and poor time management and work related quality of life as compared to public sector bank employees. Empirical evidences also suggest that private sector employees are involved in multiple tasks assigned by their employers, required to achieve specific marketing targets within the specific time period on the basis of which they were promoted so they have to be more polychronic (Ishizaka, Marshal, and Conte, 2001). In the same way, Kelly (2002) concluded that overindulgence in numerous tasks seriously hamper the time management skills among employees of private organizations.

Further evidence was provided by Jett and George (2003) concluding that handling compound organizational responsibilities hinder the time urgency among employees of private advertising agencies. Moreover, employees of private organizations involve in retail business reported elevated levels of work related stress, burnout and dissatisfaction with work life as compared to those rendering their services in government associations.

Finally results of ANOVA on the basis of three levels of job designation (customer relationship officer, assistant manager and manager) of bank employees showed significant differences between the levels of the job designation of bank employees in the polychronicity but non-significant differences were found with reference to time management and work related quality of life. Post hoc analysis revealed that manager exhibited more polychronic tendency as compared to their subordinates that is customer relationship officers and assistant managers. This finding is supported by another empirical verification indicating that for managers it is the varying nature of their organizational roles and responsibilities which makes them more polychromic (Adams and Eerde, 2010).

Managers are found to be more prone towards multitasking as they need to be bridging between the implementation of organizational policies (from higher authorities) and execution of those policies by giving directions to their subordinates (Arndt et al., 2006). Another important factor which leads them to prefer several tasks at time is competition. In the present era banking sector is very fast growing organization where multiple investors are interested to put their share so, managers prefer to do multiple tasks simultaneously to enhance organizational performance (Conte and Gintoft, 2005; Frei et al., 1999) which in return earn good repute for their banks among their competitors. Previous literature also revealed that whenever managers deal with new issues they perform multiple tasks in the top management teams (Kotter, 1982).

Limitations and Suggestions

Few potential limitations of the study were identified. Firstly, current sample constituted only bank employees, thereby limiting the generalizability of the present findings. Therefore, inclusion of other organizational setups would enhance our understanding of the constructs. Secondly, present study focused on the interaction among the variables of the study with few demographic factors. However, addition of other related demographic attributes (like marital status, job tenure, type of organization, etc.) would offer a comprehensive picture about the phenomena. Thirdly, this study provides an insight about polychronicity in relation to time management and work related quality of life. It would be appropriate to explore the construct in the context of other related variables e.g. productivity, job satisfaction, and turn over intentions to comprehend the associated roles of polychronicity.

Implications

The findings of this study would have significant implications for organizational behaviors within Pakistani context. As polychronicity is an important phenomenon which is present in almost all organizations, this study would be helpful in assisting job analysis and job design so as to foster effectiveness and efficiency of the organizations. There are few empirical researches on the relationship of polychronicity, time management and work related quality of life which identified the potential gap between these variables. Present study may also help bank employees in providing guidance to improve time management skills and enhancing work related quality of life; hence cultivating well-being and contentment at their workplace.

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Correspondence address: Aisha Zubair, Lecturer, National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad (email: aishazubair@nip.edu.pk )
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Author:Sehrish, Javeria; Zubair, Aisha
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Psychology
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Date:Dec 31, 2013
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