Managing the risky humanity of academic workers: risk and reciprocity in university work-life balance policies

Saltmarsh, Sue and Randell-Moon, Holly (2015) Managing the risky humanity of academic workers: risk and reciprocity in university work-life balance policies. Policy Futures in Education, 13 (5). pp. 662-682.

Abstract

University work–life balance policies increasingly offer academic workers a range of possible options for managing the competing demands of work, family, and community obligations. Flexible work arrangements, family-friendly hours and campus facilities, physical well-being and
mental health programs typify strategies for formally acknowledging the need for employees to balance work with other needs and commitments. This paper draws on examples from Australian university work–life balance policies to consider how the incalculable humanity of academic
workers is constructed as posing institutional risks because of the potential ill-effects of an imbalance between work and life. We consider how work–life balance policies anticipate and attempt to manage perceived risks to the institution as a consequence of workers’ utilization of such policies for their own benefit. Informed by poststructuralist theoretical and cultural analyses
of risk, affect, and governmentality, we argue that work–life balance policies stage a double maneuver. They offer heavily qualified workplace conditions, benefits, and supports predicated on notions of risk and reciprocity, while simultaneously extending the reach of institutional power to include the bodies, minds, families, and lives of academic workers.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 30198
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2017 05:50
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2017 00:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: risk, governmentality, work-life balance, higher education
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930403 School/Institution Policies and Development
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1177/1478210315579552
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30198

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only