University of Twente Student Theses


Designing and compensating shift work schedules: The case of the Dutch disability sector

Oosterhoff, C.M. (2017) Designing and compensating shift work schedules: The case of the Dutch disability sector.

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Abstract:Shift work concerns working irregular, flexible, variable and non-standard working hours. It is a complex concept, with many characteristics and is often brought in contact with many negative consequences for satisfaction, health and wellbeing of employees. Much research has been done on various characteristics and their effect on the consequences. For the Dutch disability sector, there is limited knowledge of the current view of the employees in this sector on this topic. The purpose of this study is to investigate the current state of shift working in the Dutch disability sector. The comforts and discomforts, the design of the schedule and the compensation for the discomforts are included. The impact of shift work on employee satisfaction, sleep quality and work-life balance (WLB) is investigated. Yearly working hours variation, short-term schedule disturbances, schedule disturbances, and five most distinctive working patterns serve as explaining variables. It is hypothesised that counter-value and counter-weight compensation will have a moderating effect on this relation. The main research question thus reads: to what extent do financial compensation and work-time control influence the relation between shift work schedule characteristics and employee outcomes? Based on gathered information from previously performed case studies, a digital survey was composed and distributed. Respondents (N=6552) were employees working in any institution in the disability sector in the Netherlands. Through multiple regression analyses, the proposed hypotheses were tested. The results from the current study showed the following. Moderating effects of financial compensation and work-time control on the relation between schedule characteristics and satisfaction, sleep quality and/or work-life balance were found. However, their impact is very small. Financial compensation and work-time control showed to have a great direct effect on the employee outcomes. Also, direct effects of some of the schedule characteristics were found. Especially the experienced heaviness of the work schedule/shift played an important role in explaining the dependent variables. The main conclusion of this thesis has to be that both financial compensation and work-time control do not substantially weaken the negative effects of shift work on employee outcomes. However, the results of this study provide interesting insights and many opportunities for improvement. Financial compensation and WTC have a great direct effect on the employee outcomes. Come recommendations for the sector were given. Limiting the late-early combination (LEC) shifts, night shifts and late shifts in the weekends would improve the schedule. Yearly working hours variation, short-term disturbances and schedule complexity should be minimised as this has a negative impact of the satisfaction and WLB. A compensation system based on the availability of the employee could be fairer. Moreover, the options of more work-time control should be explored because of the great effect on the outcome variables. Employees working the LEC and active night shifts could be given the opportunity to choose for premium in time or money. Along with this, an additional premium for LEC would be beneficial. In order to account more for experienced heaviness, the current premium could be displaced to the heavier times of the schedule. Lastly, an equal compensation for active night and long sleep shift, or additional compensation for the long sleep shift could lead to improvement.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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