A Cell Phone Policy Work-Life Change Field Experiment: Comparing Boundary Control Versus Supportive Supervision

Last registered on December 16, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
A Cell Phone Policy Work-Life Change Field Experiment: Comparing Boundary Control Versus Supportive Supervision
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004515
Initial registration date
August 06, 2019

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
August 07, 2019, 5:00 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
December 16, 2020, 10:06 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Purdue University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2016-01-01
End date
2020-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
As personal cellphones proliferate and work-life demands rise, employees and organizations face growing challenges regarding how to manage work-life boundary control and support. Research is needed comparing theoretically-developed work-life interventions targeting manager behaviors and considering overlooked workforces . In this paper, we present three studies that develop and test a conceptual model integrating literatures on manager implementation of work-life policies, family supportive supervision, and boundary control. In Study 1 (n= 25), we used qualitative methods to identify how managers and employees are using cell phones on and off the job for personal and organizational boundary control. In study 2, we analyzed data across 69 work sites (n =473 managers and 740 employees) to develop and validate three scales based on issues identified in study 1. In Study 3, we conducted a randomized field experiment design to compare the effectiveness of two work-life interventions designed to change manager behaviors: implementing cellphone policies to increase boundary control; and family supportive supervisor behavior (FSSB) training. Our finding suggest positive main effects on managers respecting time off behaviors, and employees’ boundary control for interventions involving cell phone policy boundary control, but not FSSB. Manager moderators of effectiveness included caregiving responsibilities, partner status, and cellphone job crafting.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Kossek, Ellen Ernst . 2020. "A Cell Phone Policy Work-Life Change Field Experiment: Comparing Boundary Control Versus Supportive Supervision ." AEA RCT Registry. December 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4515
Former Citation
Kossek, Ellen Ernst . 2020. "A Cell Phone Policy Work-Life Change Field Experiment: Comparing Boundary Control Versus Supportive Supervision ." AEA RCT Registry. December 16. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4515/history/81964
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We developed a new policy on cell phone use and ways to evaluate its effectiveness (see Appendix A). The new cell phone policy was designed to give employees more control over their cell phone use and work-life boundaries. The policy and evaluation of its effectiveness identified and developed three new scales: supervisor on the job cell phone behaviors, respecting time off behaviors, extra-role job crafting cell phone behaviors.

We compared the effectiveness of this intervention to a training program designed to increase supervisor support for employees on and off the job and a control group.
Intervention Start Date
2017-03-15
Intervention End Date
2017-07-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Boundary Control Perceptions
Family Supportive Supervision
Respecting Time Off Behavior
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
These perceptions will be improved via the experimental conditions.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Employees and Managers’ Psychological Distress and General Health
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
These will be improved via increase control, support and respecting time off perceptions.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We conducted a randomized field experiment design to compare the effectiveness of two work-life interventions designed to change manager behaviors: implementing cellphone policies to increase boundary control; and family supportive supervisor behavior (FSSB) training. We also had a control group cluster.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by randomly selecting
Randomization Unit
worksites 69 retail stores which are geographically separate work sites
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
69 stores
Sample size: planned number of observations
1200 employees and managers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
23 Stores (work sites) control, 23 stores leader support training , 23 stores cell phone policy
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Purdue University-
IRB Approval Date
2015-09-30
IRB Approval Number
1509016506

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials