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Flexible Work Arrangements in Context: How Identity, Place and Process Shape Approaches to Flexibility
Fisher, Lisa M.

2010, PhD, University of Cincinnati, Arts and Sciences : Sociology.

Very little is known about how flexible work policies affect the processes of work itself, yet many organizations resist flexible work arrangements due to operational concerns. This is occurring despite larger numbers of workers seeking flexibility at work.


My dissertation examines how flexible work arrangements are designed and implemented, how work processes and job responsibilities are affected, and how workplace culture and structure shape these activities. I use a qualitative, grounded theory approach to conduct a case study of a large Midwestern U.S. workplace with a diverse hierarchy of jobs. Spatial analysis and semi-structured face-to-face interviews with both managers and non-managers in salary and hourly positions were used to gather data.


Data analysis focused on identifying and examining themes and concepts indicative of the language and tools of flexible work arrangements and work process change associated with those arrangements. A focus on language allowed me to consider how respondents understood and talked about their workplace and flexibility, as well as work process and environmental changes made in the interest of flexibility. A focus on tools allowed me to consider structural and cultural mechanisms, both intended and unintended, that affected flexibility in the workplace.


Findings provide insights into the practical aspects of flexible work arrangements and ways that workplace structure and culture can affect corporate organizations approaches to flexibility in ways that may not even be directly associated with flexible work arrangements in the minds of organizational members. I provide a snapshot of workplace structure and culture, discuss the state of flexible work arrangements at the organization, present structural and cultural factors that affect flexibility, outline tensions between what is seen as an optimal workplace versus a flexible workplace, and discuss ways that identity, place and process appear to shape all of these things. Based on my findings, I also present several hypotheses as a means of contributing to the research agenda on flexible work arrangements in corporate settings.

Paula Dubeck, PhD (Committee Chair)
Rhys Williams, PhD (Committee Member)
David Maume, PhD (Committee Member)
275 p.

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Fisher, L. (2010). Flexible Work Arrangements in Context: How Identity, Place and Process Shape Approaches to Flexibility. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Fisher, Lisa. "Flexible Work Arrangements in Context: How Identity, Place and Process Shape Approaches to Flexibility." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Cincinnati, 2010. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 22 Nov 2017.

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Fisher, Lisa "Flexible Work Arrangements in Context: How Identity, Place and Process Shape Approaches to Flexibility." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Cincinnati, 2010. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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