The first chapter consist of various things such as study background, research aims & objectives, research questions, problem statement, research rationale and the structure of the entire research proposal.
Background of the study
Work-life balance has become an extensively spoken topic in the modern world. The global world is preoccupied with the effect of the subject matter; however, the rising work pressure has enhanced the complexity of the topic even further. In the contemporary world, parents are playing dual role- one as a parent at the home while other as an employee at the workplace. However, the rate of participation of men or women has high differences, as women are still believed to be a homemaker in most cases. They have to sacrifice their attachment to the workplace or they have to select part time options just because they had the responsibilities to take care of their kids. Men on the other hand are largely attached to the workplace. They are needed to pay three times lesser time to their kids (Craig, Powell & Cortis, 2012).
It is also a fact that childcare is not the responsibilities of mother only. Even father has equal rights and responsibilities to take care of their child. It is just because of the society that has kept women confined to the homemaking responsibilities (Poduval, Jayita, & Murali Poduval, 2012). The work life balance varies with the sex dissimilarities. The differences in their roles and responsibilities are contradicting the fact that work life balance is necessary to both father and mother. This is because women have less participation at the workplace. They are not given equal opportunities than the men. The topic has particularly raised two questions, which are related to the balance between professional and personal life and to the differences in treatment with genders at the workplace.
The research is aimed to find the concept o work life balance in both the men or women in Singapore. Moreover, the research is also aimed to find the factors that make differences in role-play of men or women at the home or at the workplace.
- To find the complexity of balancing work with life in Singapore
- To find the factors that encourage different lifestyle aspects with difference in gender in regards to the childcare
- To discuss whether man or women have equal roles and responsibilities for their childcare at home
- How complex is it to achieve a balance between a professional and a personal career in Singapore?
The work life balance in Singapore is very hard to attain, as it is evident in the leadership style in the country (Robertson, 2013). Different sectors have different ways to do their projects; however, extra works are often evident, which is not limited to the weekdays only but the weekends might also offer the same picture depending on the scenario of the projects. The increasing work pressure at the workplace in particular the IT industry has limited the flourish of work lifer balance in the country. The planned research would thus examine the level of difficulty, which is present in attaining a balance between the personal life and a life at the workplace.
The logic behind the selection of the research topic is the significance of balance between work and personal life. The situation is challenging the parents in taking care of their kids. The contemporary world is facing many challenges in managing their kids. They have less time for nurturing their kids. Additionally, father in particular has less time for their kids. Women have less participation at the workplace (Shirani, Henwood & Coltart, 2012). These are some complexities, which have attracted the researcher towards the chosen topic.
Structure of the study
The research proposal work is divided into three chapters of which the first chapter is he introduction part. The introduction part of this research proposal covers a brief foreword of the learning. It also covers the objectives of the study and its related questions.
The second chapter contains the literature review section that tries to find the answers for the set questions. It does so in the light of various journals and books.
The third chapter of this research proposal is the research methodology section that covers the various essential elements of a research proposal. It gives information on research approach, research onion, research philosophy, research design, data collection method and data analysis method.
This chapter in particular tries to find answers on the set questions in the first chapter. It covers the topic based on various journals and books. Moreover, the chapter also uses some theories if it is required so.
Factors affecting the work life balance
Employee’s beliefs in Singapore
Studies have found that many Singaporean still wants over work despite of their increasing demand for a balance in between work and life. Various factors have influenced their behaviours in such way. One of such factors is the desire to earn more. This is something that encourages their passion to work extra just for the sake of making more money. On the other hand, they support the work life balance. Their beliefs and their practices are contradicting the existence of each other. It is indeed a reality that employees with high passion for work life balance have supporting thoughts for over works. According to such group of employees, this is a good resource to earn extra, which is indeed very important to survive in the highly changing economic structure of the country. Some employees have supported extra works because they see this as a good option for their promotion in their respective organizations. Some have supported the extra works because to them extra works are a good resource to enhance their personal development (Chou, 2012).
Interestingly, employees who want to work less have various reasons behind them; however, spending more time with their kids is at at the distant third number. They have preferred providing free time to themselves as the most probable reason behind their demands for less work time. Work to life stability is at number two place (Sandberg et al., 2012). This is some shocking findings because the researcher has selected the life to work balance as the factor more in requirement. However, with the Singaporean the story is little different. Some wants to work more because they have various reasons for it such as high earning opportunities. On the other hand, employees those who want less pressure of works, they have their own reason such as providing free time to them.
Employees have different takes on the work to life steadiness and which is why it comes at the second position when they decide for their choice of employer. Salary and employee benefits have received the highest priorities from the Singaporean workforce. They have kept the work life balance at the second position in terms of their choice of employer (Gangwisch, 2014). The above facts is little different to the fact, which has encouraged the researcher to choose the topic. However, it is also undeniable that stability in between work and life is speedily growing in its demands for the workers in Singapore. The complexities of the work life balance are because of various reasons.
The culture of the country is another obstacle in the way of balance in between the work and life. The Singaporean culture is a mix up of Asia and Europe. The integration of cultures has resulted in different mindsets for the targeted topic. Some employees feel that women should also be a part of workplace. Additionally, they also believe that women should be given equal opportunities. However, some employees are in the favour of women restricting much for domestic purpose. According to such employees, women should spend much time at their home to take care of their kids. In doing so, it is unpractical that women would be able to spend a full time or elongated participation at the workplace (Chhokar, Brodbeck & House, 2013).
Globalization has influenced hugely the working nature of the country. The country is an open economy, which is why it has attracted various investments in the recent past. It is a very small country but it has the reputation of one of the richest countries in the world. The country has one of the strongest economy across the globe. This has become possible for various reasons such as the local government roles in facilitating the growth & development of the country and the foreign direct investment. Globalization has integrated various international firms at the same platform for a common purpose. This has demanded more than the usual workup for being competitive in a changed workforce. Globalization has opened up various options for employers to choose their workforce. Although, it is undeniable that ageing population is worrying the human resource of Singapore but still, employer has many options to choose from. Survival has become one of the factors, which is driving the workforce for a competitive and more than their normal work schedules. Moreover, the present system of workplace looks as one of the prominent reasons behind the increasing demands for balance in professional work and life (Gauchat, Kelly & Wallace, 2012).
This chapter would include the research method; which would be used while doing research on the chosen topic. This chapter contains the research onion, which shows the structured form of all the steps that would be followed while doing the research methodology section. The chapter further includes the research philosophy, research design, research approach, research method, data collection method etc.
The research philosophy dictates the use of resources, which is very important for a directional research work. For the proposed research work, the researcher would choose the positivism research philosophy. The researcher would use positivism because this would prevent teh researcher from doing any manipulation in the collected data. The research would stick to only such thing, which the data supports. Moreover, the researcher would not make any addition to the collected data. Availability of data on the chosen research topic is the other reason, which drove the attraction of the researcher towards its selection (Tarone, Gass & Cohen, 2013).
Three approaches can be used for a research work such as inductive and deductive. For the proposed research work, the research would use the deductive approach. This is because the chosen topic has various supportive resources available on it. The available resources are sufficient materials for covering the research work on the selected research topic (Taylor, 2017).
There are three designs for the research works such as exploratory, explanatory and descriptive. The researcher has selected the descriptive method as the research design. The researcher has selected the descriptive method because the chosen topic does not need any further invention of theories. It can easily be done with the help of available facts (Wildemuth, 2016).
Data collection method
The researcher would use both the primary and the secondary data collection process. The researcher would use the secondary resources for reviewing the related literature on the chosen research topic. The researcher would also use the primary resources to get more data, so that, the researcher could interpret both the data such as of the literature review and the one from primary resources. Data interpretation gives more accuracy in the findings, which is very necessary to postulate a sound conclusion on the proposed research work. For the primary resources, the researcher would select an online survey, which would allow those respondents who are above the age of 18 and below the age of retirement (Yanow & Schwartz-Shea, 2015).
Two methods can help the research work such as the probability and non-probability. The researcher would select the probability method for the proposed research work. Probability method of sampling further include various types of it such as simple random sampling, cluster sampling etc. For the proposed research work, the researcher would select the cluster method of sampling. The reason behind the selection of cluster method of sampling is that the research topic is not suitable for those who are below the age of 18 (Yin, 2013).
Research methods are of two types such as qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative type includes a structured open-ended interview with the selected list of people. The quantitative type of research includes an online survey. The researcher has selected the quantitative type of research. The type of research would include an online survey with those who are above 18 years of age and below the retirement age. The reason behind the selection of quantitative method is the availability of large respondents. The research topic is very common and would be widely understood if it collects data from mass. On the other hand, qualitative method is only adopted when the research topic is strictly answerable to the few selected people such as the managerial positions in organization. A research topic related to any organization is better answerable with its employees and the managers (Smith, 2015).
Some examples of questions:
- How many hours do you spent at home?
- How many hours do you spent at office?
- Are you involved with your kids through co-curricular activities?
- Do you attend the parent teacher meeting at the schools?
The proposed research work would follow certain ethicalities as well during the research work. The research would collect the data on the respondents through the survey. All the data are needed to keep secured to avoid the data from any misusing. The respondents would be asked for their consent before their participation into the survey. The collected data would not be published until and unless for an academic purpose. The participants are required to inform on the research objectives and aim. This would help the participants attach to the survey both emotionally and psychologically otherwise the survey work would have no meaning. The respondents are required to be acquainted with various technologies, so that, they could participate in the survey without any problem. Participants would not be forced and would be entitled to leave the survey at any point in time at their own convenience (Silverman, 2016).
There can be many study limitations in the proposed research work. The first limitation of the study would be the time restrictions, which is a threat to an extensive research on the chosen research topic. Budget can be other limitation, which is a threat to a quality research. Moreover, the restriction in budget could also limit the researcher in getting access to the costlier articles that have valuable information in them. The respondents might not reveal the truth while during the survey process, which is a limitation for the proposed research work. This would prevent the research from getting quality results, which is indeed very important for putting forward the conclusion on the chosen subject topic (Flick, 2015).
It was found in a brief literature review covered in this research proposal section that there are various factors, which enhances the complexity of work life balance. Factors such as Singaporean employee’s thoughts on working for hours above the normal permitted work and the culture in the country have perhaps made it complex. The brief literature review section has found varying interest of employees for work life balance. Large numbers of employees have comparatively higher passion for good salary and benefits. Work life balance is their second preference, which is why there have been large numbers of such employees who are intentionally selecting more than the normal allowed work. This has perhaps contributed hugely in enhancing the complexities of work life balance in Singapore. However, the proposed research work might find some other useful data because this would contain a broad research on the related journals and books. Additionally, the proposed research work would also contain the survey on the targeted respondents.
Chhokar, J. S., Brodbeck, F. C., & House, R. J. (Eds.). (2013). Culture and leadership across the world: The GLOBE book of in-depth studies of 25 societies. Routledge.
Chou, S. Y. (2012). Millennials in the workplace: A conceptual analysis of millennials' leadership and followership styles. International Journal of Human Resource Studies, 2(2), 71.
Corbin, J., Strauss, A., & Strauss, A. L. (2014). Basics of qualitative research. Sage.
Craig, L., Powell, A., & Cortis, N. (2012). Self-employment, work-family time and the gender division of labour. Work, employment and society, 26(5), 716-734.
Flick, U. (2015). Introducing research methodology: A beginner's guide to doing a research project. Sage.
Gangwisch, J. E. (2014). Work-life balance.
Gauchat, G., Kelly, M., & Wallace, M. (2012). Occupational gender segregation, globalization, and gender earnings inequality in US metropolitan areas. Gender & Society, 26(5), 718-747.
Poduval, Jayita, and Murali Poduval. (2012). "Working mothers: how much working, how much mothers, and where is the womanhood?." Mens sana monographs 7(1), 63.
Robertson, R. (2013). Leading on the Edge: Extraordinary Stories and Leadership Insights from the World's Most Extreme Workplace. John Wiley & Sons.
Sandberg, J. G., Yorgason, J. B., Miller, R. B., & Hill, E. J. (2012). Family?to?work spillover in Singapore: Marital distress, physical and mental health, and work satisfaction. Family Relations, 61(1), 1-15.
Shirani, F., Henwood, K., & Coltart, C. (2012). Meeting the challenges of intensive parenting culture: Gender, risk management and the moral parent. Sociology, 46(1), 25-40.
Silverman, D. (Ed.). (2016). Qualitative research. Sage.
Smith, J. A. (Ed.). (2015). Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. Sage..
Tarone, E. E., Gass, S. M., & Cohen, A. D. (Eds.). (2013). Research methodology in second-language acquisition. Routledge.
Taylor, R. R. (2017). Kielhofner's Research in Occupational Therapy: Methods of Inquiry for Enhancing Practice. FA Davis.
Wildemuth, B. M. (Ed.). (2016). Applications of social research methods to questions in information and library science. ABC-CLIO.
Yanow, D., & Schwartz-Shea, P. (2015). Interpretation and method: Empirical research methods and the interpretive turn. Routledge.
Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research: Design and methods. Sage publications.