Original Research

Interference between work and nonwork roles: The development of a new South African instrument

Eileen Koekemoer, Karina Mostert, Ian Rothmann Jr
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 36, No 1 | a907 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v36i1.907 | © 2010 Eileen Koekemoer, Karina Mostert, Ian Rothmann Jr | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 April 2010 | Published: 25 October 2010

About the author(s)

Eileen Koekemoer, Skool vir Mensehulpbron-Wetenskappe/ School of Human Resource Sciences Potchefstroom Kampus/ Potchefstroom Campus
Karina Mostert, Associate Professor:North-West university, South Africa
Ian Rothmann Jr, Afriforte Pty Ltd

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Orientation: The interference between work and personal life is a central issue in the 21st century as employees attempt to balance or integrate their involvement in multiple social roles.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to, (1) develop new items for a more comprehensive work−nonwork interference instrument, (2) evaluate the newly developed items to retain those items that accurately capture the different dimensions and (3) eliminate undesirable items from the different subscales in the instrument.

Motivation for the study: Although the interaction between work and personal life has received extensive attention in the work−family fields of research, various theoretical, empirical and measurement issues need to be addressed.

Research design, approach and method: A cross-sectional survey design was used to collect the data.

Main findings: Initially, 89 items were developed. During the pilot study among mineworkers (n = 245), 41 poor items were eliminated on the basis of descriptive statistics, inter-item correlations, item-total correlations and the qualitative investigation of items highly redundant in terms of wording. Thereafter, the instrument (48 items) was administered to 366 support and academic personnel at a tertiary institution. Using Rasch analyses and item correlations, 18 additional items were eliminated, resulting in a 30-item instrument (15 items were retained to measure work-nonwork interference and 15 items to measure nonwork-work interference).

Practical/managerial implications: A major theoretical limitation to the measurement of work−family interference relates to the dimensionality and inconsistent measurement of the directionality of interference.

Contribution/value-add: With the development of this new instrument, several of the theoretical and measurement limitations voiced by previous researchers have been addressed, providing this instrument with distinct advantages over previous work−family instruments.


measurement; Rasch analyses; scale development; theoretical limitations; work-nonwork interference


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