Professor Manju Ahuja
Professor & University Scholar
College of Business, University of Louisville

Date: Friday, February 7, 2014
Talk: 3:00 PM
Location: 6011 Donald Bren Hall

Refreshments: 4:15 PM, to be served in the 5th floor lobby.



While the motivation for globally distributed development is to harness appropriate human capital, scant attention has been paid toward addressing the human resource issues faced by the IT professionals involved in this context.One particularly challenging human resource issue is that of Work-Life Balance (WLB) of the IT professionals involved in global systems development (GSD), who routinely experience overlaps and conflicts between their work and personal life domains. Recent research argues that WLB is "no longer simply an individual concern," but "an organizational imperative" (Peolmans et al. 2009, p. 207). In spite of these recognized challenges, we know of no empirical examinations and very few theoretical perspectives informing us about WLB issues in this context. While WLB is an issue in the contemporary contexts on computer-mediated work, the GSD context adds many layers of challenges arising from time differences, requirements instability, and diversity.

In this paper, we theoretically develop and empirically test a model of the antecedents and consequences of WLB within distributed settings in general, and within GSD settings, in particular, where the existing literature offers limited guidance. We utilize a multi-stage multi-method empirical approach within a cross-cultural context.

The research demonstrates that workers in distributed/virtual settings face unique challenges, where organizational policies such as flexible schedules in traditional organizations tend to fall short. The results help understand the specific nature of these challenges, and move beyond the family-friendly policies and flexible schedules. The results also help us understand the effect of WLB issues on current and future attitude toward globally distributed work among ISD workers, their turnover intentions when burdened with high WLC, and their overall performance, and help devise ways to ensure a steady supply of capable GSD IT professionals.


Manju Ahuja is Professor and University Scholar in the CIS Department at the College of Business, University of Louisville, Kentucky. She has previously held faculty positions at the Kelley School of Business (Indiana University), Florida State University, and Pennsylvania State University. Her publications have appeared in journals such as /MIS Quarterly, Management Science, Information Systems Research, Organization Science, Communications of the ACM, Journal of Management, European Journal of Information Systems, Journal of MIS, Journal of AIS, Small Group Research /and other outlets. She has been ranked among the top 100 researchers in the field of Information Systems (rankings ranges from 11 to 81) worldwide by a variety of sources (e.g., Gallivan and Benbunan-Fich, 2006; //

Manju is a Senior Editor at /Management Information Systems Quarterly. /She has also served in editorial roles at other elite journals including /Information Systems Research/ and /Management Science/. She was Division Chair (2011-12) of the Academy of Management's OCIS division and has served as Program chair for this division in 2010. She is actively involved in research on issues related to use of mobile technologies and interruptions, virtual communities and teams, as well as management of human resources in IT professions. She has received three National Science Foundation grants totaling $1,095,000 for her research on IT workforce issues. Her research has been cited by publications such as Wall Street Journal, Strategy+Business, and Computerworld.

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