Exploration of the socioecological determinants of Hong Kong workers’ work-life balance : a grounded theory model

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Original languageEnglish
Article number10732
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number20
Online published13 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021



Background: Although a growing body of research has investigated the theoretical and empirical models of work-life balance (WLB), the propositions of this phenomenon remain nonunified. Thus, a grounded theory approach was adopted to explore the viewpoints of workers regarding WLB and its determinants and consequences. Methods: Individual face-to-face interviews were conducted to investigate the attitudes and experiences of Hong Kong workers towards WLB, in which 50 workers were interviewed. All data of interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded into five levels of the socioecological framework (i.e., intrapersonal level, interpersonal level, organisational level, community and government policy). Results: The grounded theory model established that work-life balance and personal context mutually affected each other, and work-life balance was unidirectionally affected by the environmental context. The ability to maintain a continual satisfied physical and mental states among multiple roles under the emergence of unexpected environmental factors was proposed as the definition of work-life balance. Conclusions: The findings of this study offer essential research insights into the importance of WLB, the dynamic features for workers to sustain balance and constructing a reliable and exhaustive assessment model for work-life balance for future studies.

Research Area(s)

  • Grounded theory model, Personal context, Physical and mental states, Qualitative research, Work-life balance

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