A Conservation of Resources Approach to Blackberry Use, Work-Family Conflict and Well-Being: Job Control and Psychological Detachment from Work as Potential Mediators

S. Ward, G. Steptoe-Warren

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This paper provides a comparison study of the relationships between using the Blackberry (BB) device for work purposes during non-work hours and (a) work-family conflict and (b) well-being, and the potential mediators of these relationships from a Conservation of Resources (COR) approach. Findings revealed that greater usage of the BB for work purposes during non-work hours was related to higher levels of work-family conflict. In particular greater frequency of use was related to an inability to psychologically detach from work, resulting in work-family conflict and low levels of well-being. Furthermore using the device for long periods was also related to an inability to psychologically detach from work, resulting in low levels of well-being. The findings did not support job control as a potential mediator; although support was found for the COR theory, as the mediating effect of detachment from work was greater than the mediating effect of job control on the relationship between BB use and work-family conflict, supporting that resource loss is more salient than resource gain. In light of these findings this paper proposes that organisations should aim to reduce the negative impact that using this device for work purposes during non-work hours has on employees, by either reducing the usage of the device or by ensuring employees are capable of handling the device and demands of the job.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEngineering Management Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Bibliographical note

Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0


  • Blackberry
  • communication technology
  • conservation of resources theory
  • perceived job control
  • psychological detachment from work
  • work-family conflict
  • well-being

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