A1 Journal article (refereed)
Boundary communication : how smartphone use after hours is associated with work-life conflict and organizational identification (2020)

van Zoonen, W., Sivunen, A., & Rice, R. E. (2020). Boundary communication : how smartphone use after hours is associated with work-life conflict and organizational identification. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 48(3), 372-392. https://doi.org/10.1080/00909882.2020.1755050

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: van Zoonen, Ward; Sivunen, Anu; Rice, Ronald E.

Journal or series: Journal of Applied Communication Research

ISSN: 0090-9882

eISSN: 1479-5752

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 48

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 372-392

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00909882.2020.1755050

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68805


This study investigates how boundary communication mediates the effects of smartphone use for work after hours on work-life conflict and organizational identification. It draws upon boundary theory, work-family border theory, and a structurational view of organizational identification. The research site was a large Scandinavian company operating in the telecommunications industry, with 367 employees responding to a survey at two time periods. In contrast to many studies, the use of information and communication technologies (here, smartphones) for after-hours work was not associated with work-life conflict, but was positively associated with organizational identification. However, communication about family demands with one’s supervisor mediated the relationship between smartphone use and work-life conflict, whereas communication about work demands with family did not. Similarly, the association between smartphone use and organizational identification was positively mediated by communication with one’s supervisor about family demands on work, but not through communication with family about work demands on family.

Keywords: working life; family life; working hours; time use; communication; smartphones

Free keywords: after-hours work; boundary spanning; organizational identification; smartphone use; work-family communication; work-life conflict

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:35