College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 11-24-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Alice F. Stuhlmacher, PhD

Second Advisor

Jane Halpert, PhD

Third Advisor

Anne Saw, PhD


Over the past several decades, a plethora of research has focused on better understanding how individuals can succeed in the workplace while navigating the complex intersection between work, family, and personal life. Offering flexible working arrangements (FWA), such as flextime and flexplace, is promising for employees who seek to find greater balance. However, supervisor support for use of FWA is critical, as supervisors often have discretion over their enforcement and use, and thus, can create (or inhibit) the development of a family-supportive work environment. Further, preliminary research indicates that expression of family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSBs) lend to positive outcomes for employees (e.g., decreased work-family conflict; increased job satisfaction; Odle-Dusseau, Hammer, Crain, & Bodner, 2016). Few studies have focused on understanding the supervisory behaviors and characteristics that predict enactment of FSSBs. Twenty-one participants who participated in a leadership development program were recruited via a large Midwestern financial organization. The study utilized archival multi-rater 360 leadership assessment data, as well as supplementary self-report survey data to examine how a series of manager behaviors, preferences, and characteristics impact endorsement of FSSBs. Plots and correlational analyses were examined to identify trends in the data and provide directions for future research. The research provides evidence that a manager’s personal need for structure is negatively correlated with their likelihood to enact family-supportive behaviors. Moreover, direct reports’ ratings of their managers’ strategic focus has a negative relationship with enactment of FSSBs, whereas their ratings of their managers’ outgoing nature has a positive relationship with enactment of FSSBs. Finally, this study did not find evidence that manager’s endorsement of FSSBs 2 influences ratings of their overall effectiveness. Overall, these results suggest further exploring how personal need for structure, strategic focus, and outgoing style can be targeted in training and development for leaders who want to create family-supportive supervisor environments.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons