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A Cell Phone Policy Work-Life Change Field Experiment: Comparing Boundary Control Versus Supportive Supervision
Last registered on August 07, 2019

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
Last updated
August 07, 2019 5:00 PM EDT
Location(s)

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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 . 2019. "A Cell Phone Policy Work-Life Change Field Experiment: Comparing Boundary Control Versus Supportive Supervision ." AEA RCT Registry. August 07. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4515-1.0.
Former Citation
Kossek, Ellen Ernst . 2019. "A Cell Phone Policy Work-Life Change Field Experiment: Comparing Boundary Control Versus Supportive Supervision ." AEA RCT Registry. August 07. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4515/history/51384.
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
Not available
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