Work–Leisure Blending: An Integrative Conceptual Review and Framework to Guide Future Research

Journal of Applied Psychology, 2021

SMU Cox School of Business Research Paper No. 21-07

21 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2021 Last revised: 2 Aug 2021

See all articles by Troy Smith

Troy Smith

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Management Department

Marcus Butts

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Management and Organizations Department

Stephen Courtright

University of Iowa - Department of Management & Organizations

Mat Duerden

Brigham Young University - Marriott School of Business

Mark Widmer

Brigham Young University - Marriott School of Business

Date Written: June 7, 2021

Abstract

Since the industrial revolution, work and leisure have largely been considered opposing domains. A growing number of organizations, however, enable and/or promote blending leisure activities into the workplace. Similarly, several conceptualizations across different disciplines examine how work and leisure can coexist. These different conceptualizations have yielded a rich but fragmented theoretical account of work–leisure blending. To address this problem, we provide a comprehensive theoretical integration of multiple literature streams where research has explored work–leisure blending. Further, we develop a tripartite dimensional framework designed to elucidate the central dimensions of work–leisure blending (i.e., segmentation–integration, unstructured–structured, and independent–interactive) undergirding this phenomenon. Using this framework as a theoretical foundation, we then discuss important contextual considerations and future research directions related to work–leisure blending.

Keywords: work–leisure blending, organizational play, gamification, workplace fun, work breaks

JEL Classification: M00

Suggested Citation

Smith, Troy and Butts, Marcus and Courtright, Stephen and Duerden, Mat and Widmer, Mark, Work–Leisure Blending: An Integrative Conceptual Review and Framework to Guide Future Research (June 7, 2021). Journal of Applied Psychology, 2021, SMU Cox School of Business Research Paper No. 21-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3862034

Troy Smith (Contact Author)

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Management Department ( email )

P.O. Box 880491
Lincoln, NE 68588-0491
United States

Marcus Butts

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Management and Organizations Department

United States

Stephen Courtright

University of Iowa - Department of Management & Organizations ( email )

IA
United States

Mat Duerden

Brigham Young University - Marriott School of Business ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

Mark Widmer

Brigham Young University - Marriott School of Business ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

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