Academy of Marketing Studies Journal (Print ISSN: 1095-6298; Online ISSN: 1528-2678)


The Effect of Telecommuting on Productivity : A Meta-Analysis

Author(s): Shweta Tewari

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to bring clarity to the existing research by reviewing and synthesizing the literature. Even more central, the relationship between telecommuting and productivity will be evaluated empirically using meta-analysis techniques. A review of the relationship between telecommuting and productivity is done by keeping four goals in mind: (1) to identify a comprehensive list of studies that have examined the relationship between telecommuting and productivity;(2) to review the studies from the quantitative perspective ;(3) to provide information the effect sizes; and (4) to assess the generalizability of the telecommuting effect on productivity across settings and subjects, including differences in research design. Design/Methodology/Approach: A meta-analysis is a useful tool for assessing the overall impact of a body of literature in instances where multiple researchers have examined the same relationship between variables. The technique has taken on increased importance in the medical research community (for its ability to provide an assessment of the outcome of several clinical trials, for example), and has contributed to the implementation of evidence-based healthcare(Sutton et al 2000).For example, recent meta-analytical studies have provided conclusive evidence of a relationship between weight reduction and lowering blood pressure (Neter et al. 2003) Findings: Major research has been made in the area of the effect of telecommuting on productivity, including previous narrative reviews. A recent study by Greta Onken-Menke, Stephan Nuesch, and Claudia Kroll, indicates that FWPs increase organizational attractiveness hence contributing to employer branding. Flexible work schedules and sabbaticals (but not telecommuting) increase organizational commitment and all FWPs decrease turnover intention. Our understanding of the issue concerning the effect of telecommuting on productivity is not well known, however, because these past consolidation efforts did not provide a conceptual framework combined with a quantitative analysis summarizing the results of prior studies. To understand thoroughly what past research has found regarding the relationship between telecommuting and productivity, a review should incorporate all types of research, including, qualitative, survey, experimental and econometric designs. Originality/Value: A comprehensive review encompassing all the existing published literature is needed to fully understand the exact impact of telecommuting on productivity. However, to date, there has been no quantitative integration (i.e. meta-analysis) study. To fill this void, the current research provides a quantitative integration of possible available published research conducted to determine what impact, if any, telecommuting has on productivity.

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