The Impact of Family & Technology Issues on Sales Careers



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Limitations

There are several limitations of this study. One, the pretest was with students, then revised and expanded to salespeople. The sample is not a representative sample, since it was a snowball, non-probability sample and also drawn from a small region of the United States. The study also is affected by the use of borrowed scales and the appropriateness of added items (Engelland, Alford & Taylor, 2001).


Conclusions

With regard to work-family conflict and travel requirements, we did several significant findings. Of the respondents to this survey, those who traveled as part of his/her job worked full time in the information technology, government/industrial, and transportation fields. While those working in the retail, hospitality/restaurant, part time or not employed didn’t report travel as a requirement of his/her job. In addition it was interesting that those participants who didn’t travel were under 25 years old, live less than 20 miles from their parents, were single/never married, and didn’t have children. Intuitively this is logical since workers in retail and hospitality/restaurant industries would spend less time traveling unless they were in upper management doing district or regional supervision. Also, those participants working part time would be less responsible for traveling to represent their employer since they either are probably working as a fill in for full time employees with more responsibilities. Those not working would have no reason to travel.

It was significant that those who travel as part of their job had been with their present employer twice as long as those who didn’t travel. In addition they worked almost 12 hours more per week than those who didn’t have to travel. Those participants who do travel indicated that they have had control over their own daily activities and spent almost three times as much time using technology at home than those who didn’t have to travel. The respondents appear that they are happy with their current employers even with the travel. It could be speculated but not verified that having control over his/her daily activities and the ability to work at home using current technology negates some of the impact on the family when the respondent needs to travel.

When correlating travel and technology issues, those who traveled tended to strongly agree that the computer is more important today and computer security measures, such as password authorization, is required for computer access either at work or from home. Those who did not travel responded that other members of the household used the home computer for activities other than work and that time spent working on the computer did not take away time from the family or felt that his/her employer was concerned about computer security.

Overall the respondents that did travel tended to be older, worked full time in non-service related industries, had bachelors’ degrees, and worked more hours in part due to the travel requirements. Current technology and the control of his/her daily schedule appear to help ease some of the conflicts on family life caused by travel requirements.




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