Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




In response to increasing degrees o f work and family conflict, some companies have implemented work and family policies. However, evidence suggests that many companies will not implement work and family policies because they believe that some employees will feel that the policies are unfair, although this claim has been made with only minimal empirical evidence. This study examined employees’ fairness perceptions of work/family policies. It was hypothesized that employees who might benefit from a work/family policy would feel that the policy was more fair than would employees who would not benefit from such a policy. To test this hypothesis, 849 bank employees responded to hypothetical work/family policies that either parent employees only or all employees could use. A second independent variable was supervisor status. The hypothetical supervisor in the scenario was either supportive or unsupportive of this discretionary policy. The respondent’s parental status, a non-manipulated demographic variable, was the final independent variable in this 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design. Respondents rated the fairness of the hypothetical policy. The ANOVA results indicated that parent employees felt the policy that only parent employees could use was more fair than did nonparent employees who were not affected by the policy. Parents felt the policy that covered all employees was more fair than nonparents did; however, nonparents did feel the policy that covered all employees was more fair than the policy that benefited only parents. The supportiveness of the supervisor did not affect fairness perceptions.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2001, Emily R. Blodgett

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