A Demographic Study Of Perceptions Of Working Life Quality

Abstract

The quality of working life; is a system that aims the increasing of the productivity in line with the benefits of the institution, taking into consideration the expectations, attitudes and thoughts of the employees. The quality of working life refers to the perceptions of different subjects about the institution that individual is working with. These perceptions of employees will have an impact on situations such as job satisfaction of the employee, desire to work long time in the work place. In this study, the perceptions of the quality of working life of the employees were examined in terms of their demographic characteristics.Field survey method was used in the study. The questionnaire consists of two parts. The first part contains questions about the demographic characteristics of employees. In the second part, there are questions aimed at measuring the perceptions of the employees about the factors affecting the quality of working life.According to the obtained data, "Occupational Accident, Occupational Disease Risks and Physical Working Conditions at Work" is the least effective factor, while "Organizational Social Integration" is the most important factor in the perceptions of the working life quality for participants in this study. In addition, it was proved that the employees who participated in the research showed statistically significant differences of their quality of working life according to the gender and educational status levels, but the employees did not show any difference in terms of marital status age and working time.

Keywords: Quality of working lifedemographic characteristicsfood industry workers

Introduction

The more important it is to work for a person, the greater the perception of the work and the institution it is working with. Working and working environment plays an important role in human life. Most people do not look at the work they are working for and the institution only from the material point of view. They feel the satisfaction of working in that institution, the satisfaction of being successful in that work, the satisfaction, the sense of success, and the sense of providing economic and collective benefits through work. In the opposite situation, it is necessary to experience a mental depression that stress and unhappiness dominate (Türkay, 2015). In other words; to work today except for the financial possibilities it provides, to be integrated with society, to have status in society and to be respected (Erdem & Kaya, 2013). Employee rights offered to employees in organizations, practices related to working life, managerial arrangements, etc. the differences in the subject matter can play an important role in the formation of employees' intention to leave or leave work. It is expressed that a work that a person does inadvertently has a negative effect on almost all of his life. Therefore, the organizational opportunities provided to the employees play an important role in the success of the organization, but they are effective for the employees to be satisfied with their lives and have a healthy and happy life. In other words, unhappiness in the working life can cause not only the working life of the employees but also the negativities in social life (Demir, 2011; Erdem & Kaya, 2013).Human beings spend a considerable part of their daily life in the institution they work in, and the productivity of the institution they are working with increases as happily. In this context; working is not a necessity in human life, but it is also an important feature that makes it a social entity (Erdem & Kaya, 2013). In other words, business and workplace have a very important, rooted and inexpressible place in the life of the working person. In addition to this importance, the institution the person works with is an important determinant of the happiness that this person receives from their working life and job satisfaction and the happiness they receive from their social life by providing the desired psychological satisfaction (Türkay, 2015).

Thanks to the researches that are related to the developments and changes in the working life, the working life and the opinions of the managers and opinions about the employees have changed. Employers are aware of their responsibilities towards employees and the collective. The increase in the job satisfaction of the employees allows them to see themselves as part of the institution they are working with. As a result, a positive increase in their performance and productivity can be seen (Gülmez, 2013). For this reason, studies on the quality of working life for people to be happier, more peaceful and productive in their institutions are often one of the topics mentioned in the literature. Those who work (Ayaz & Beydag, 2014), making efforts to raise working quality, such as the benefits they provide to them, a business environment that supports them, and self-empowerment programs. Recent technological developments for organizations, expansion of settlements and places of work, rapid population growth and international competition have made new management approaches compulsory. For this reason, it is seen as one of the important and basic events in increasing the quality of working life, organizational efficiency and productivity for organizations adopting contemporary management approach (Erdem & Kaya, 2013).

Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

Concept of Work Life Quality and Historical Development

The basic needs of employees have also begun to differentiate and change depending on the radical changes in the organizational culture, the business system and the improvement of the living standards of the employees. In addition, the traditional structure of the business meeting these basic needs has also changed (Aydın, Çelik & Uğurluoğlu, 2011).However, all these changes happen; Even if the organization has advanced technology, devices, it seems difficult to catch up with success if it does not have enough employees, organized and connected with satisfied employees. In order to increase productivity and protect the institution from adverse consequences, employees should be made aware of their working conditions, organizational commitment and job satisfaction. In this context, especially in recent years, the importance of quality is increasing increasingly in the working life, which increases the physical and psychological prosperity of the employees, increases their value and causes change in the organizational culture, and is seen as a management philosophy (Türk & Çetin, 2012).In addition to the wages, working hours and working environment associated with managerial concerns about work productivity, employee satisfaction and satisfaction, business ethics, working conditions and career development (Hassan & Maamor, 2014). Work is a complex concept that is influenced and interacted in many aspects of life quality, work and social life. Thanks to this concept it is possible to attract new employees and keep existing employees (Almalki & FitzGerald, 2012). Given the historical development of management science, Taylor's "Understanding of Scientific Management" is accepted as the first study of the quality of working life. The products presented to the market could be easily sold with the effect of the industrial revolution in this period where the classical management concept prevailed. It was a period when supply was less demanding. In this period, it was stated that Taylor had great wastes in the use of raw materials and materials with the scientific management concept of worker and it was aimed to prevent waste and increase productivity and production continuously (TC Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology General Directorate of Productivity (2011), http://anahtar.sanayi.gov.tr/tr/news/calisma-yasaminin-kalitesi/195, 03/01/2017). However, Taylor aimed at increasing the productivity of the workforce rather than increasing the quality of life. Work has been the new Taylorists with their studies of life quality and work that they emphasize for the first time employees are important, adding people into the system. The new Taylorists, who were more psycho-technically, made their work later, in the 1950s, by Eric Trist, Fred Emery, A.K. Rice, at the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations in London, by Hans Van Beinum and colleagues, has seen work that has taken the organization as an open system (Kayalar, 1997).Which regulates the structure of work, the integration of business people and technology, and the relations among them, all other factors outside them, and the functions of referral and administration. The name of this system is "socio-technical system". The socio-technical system consists of a whole system and subsystems that affect the entire system. For this reason, each subsystem must work with another subsystem. As long as compliance is not achieved, it will not be possible to achieve the desired goal (Toplu, 1999).It can be considered that the concept of working life quality is shaped by the socio-technical system thinking. Examples such as the fact that the quality of life is not used as a concept during these periods but some firms share their profits with their employees can be considered as efforts to improve the working conditions of the employees. Moreover, it is possible to describe these practices as efforts to raise the quality of the working life with a contemporary perspective (Özaslan, 2010). During the 60's in Sweden, the social democratic policies of the state have focused on improving working conditions by leaning more on the prosperity of employees, and this approach has also been supported by trade unions, employers and political parties (Martel & Dupuis, 2006). The work began as a quality-of-life concept and discipline after an international conference called "Democratization of Work" in 1972 at the University of Colombia (in the United States) (Van der Berg & Martins, 2013). After this conference, the International Quality of Work Quality Council was established to study work quality. After this date there has been an increased interest in the quality of working life quality, and in 1981 the conference in Toronto was accompanied by academicians as well as managers and trade union representatives. In the 1980s and 1990s, jobs in the United States and England were classified as secondary jobs that provided good working conditions and secondary jobs that offered adverse working conditions. In 1999, the International Labor Organization (ILO) brought to mind the concept of "decent work" that they defined as "a productive work in which the fundamental rights of the individual are protected, sufficient income and social protection in working life". Priority is given to product quality while later social acceptance and quality of life have been emphasized (Türk, 2015). Researchers argue that the concept of working life is a multidimensional concept and, therefore, there is no universally accepted definition of this concept in the literature. Some define this concept as a narrow perspective, while others describe it in a broader context (Kanten, 2014). Because of the concept of working life quality, as well as social structure, philosophy, goals and values, as well as the different needs of employees, longing and anticipation, between the countries, between the regions within the same country, between the people and the content is a concept that can have priorities (Türk & Çetin, 2012). As regards the quality of working life, there is a need for "improvement of working conditions" in France, "protection of workers" in socialist countries, "democratization of work environment and workplace" in Scandinavian countries, "humanization of work" in England and Germanyare widely used (Kaymaz, 2003; Kayalar, 1997). However, different researchers make definitions by referring to different sides of the concept of working life quality: safe, working life quality; defines as a concept that leads to change in organizational culture at the same time, which enables the taking of decisions and the participation of employees by combining factors such as wages, motivation, technology used, social security, continuous education and working conditions in order to meet the physical, emotional and psychological needs of employees. According to Aba (2009), the quality of working life aims to make better working conditions and to improve the quality of life by making changes in the current working environment. This is a technique that increases the efficiency of the organization on the one hand while increasing the characteristics of the individuals working in the business and making them motivated. In terms of sword and partridge, the quality of work life; satisfaction level, motivation, and personal experience. The quality of work life refers to the degree to which employees can meet their important personal needs. Employees generally; to increase the quality of working life aiming to gain the concepts of security, honesty, ownership, autonomy, responsibility and flexibility. They are trying to be open and supportive to the employees of the organizations, to open communication channels at every level, to give opportunity to participate in decisions and to fulfill their duties (Kılıç & Keklik, 2012). The concept of work quality of life involves the provision of an environment in which people are able to live their lives in a safe environment, feel the employees are contributing to the organizations they work in, recognize their abilities and develop their skills (Tuncer, 2013). It is argued that providing more humane and healthy work conditions to employees is a necessity of contemporary management approach. Humanitarianization of the working life that aims to raise the position of the worker in the working life to a level appropriate to the person's structure and talents and expectations (Çetinkaya & Düger, 2013). It also includes efforts to integrate the work with your work (Yüksel, 2004).The quality of work life is a philosophy, a principle sequence that suggests that employees are the most important source of trust, responsibility, and worthiness for decision making. All these definitions and explanations define the same conclusion in different expressions. The quality of working life can be expressed in narrow and broad sense. In its broadest sense; quality of work life, work related; working hours, working environment (ventilation, heat, light, area etc.), side benefits, social facilities (health, transportation, kindergarten etc.), relations with managers and colleagues, technology used, employee satisfaction and motivation, work (eg, security, inclusion in decisions, social security, continuous education, and the possibility of promotion) (Üstündağ, 1999). In the narrow sense; is meant to provide mainly intangible satisfaction of the work. That is to say, briefly, because the working life influences the worker, the working life quality can be defined as the meaning of the work in terms of the employee. From this point of view, the quality of the working life includes the fact that the employee has a job that expresses a value to him and is involved in organizational decisions affecting working conditions that will provide job satisfaction and motivation (Kayalar, 1997; Toplu, 1999).

Causes Of The Need To Improve The Quality Of Work Life

Organization employees are the main elements of the concept of working life quality. It is therefore a priority to develop employee satisfaction rates at the beginning of efforts to improve the quality of work life. In other words, one of the most important reasons for the improvement of working-life quality is "individual causes" (Çiçek, 2005). Inother words, one's social life and family troubles, financial difficulties, bad habits and irregularities lead to some unsuccess which may affect the success of the working life and productivity. On the other hand, the perception and interpretation of one's attitudes and behaviors at the workplace in terms of other persons may cause the relations to be shaken and conflicts within the organization. It affects the prosperity and happiness of the employees and the quality of their lives in general, the deterioration of their health, and so on. These troubles cause also economic losses for business accidents and business. In addition, it causes negatively the quality of working life because employees cause to behave like absenteeism, quitting, striking, slowing down work, incompatibility with colleagues (Demir, 2011; Kayalar, 1997). Another element of the need to improve the quality of working life is organizational reasons. Organizational culture, especially organizational structuring and management style (such as autocratic, participatory, democratic), management-employee relations, intra-organizational communication, salary, premium etc. in the workplace. it is suggested that factors such as job quality, social justice and job security, which are evaluated with regard to monetary payments in terms of wage system, creativity and autonomy, are important effects in determining the quality of working life. These elements can put pressure on employees' tendency to leave work or to intend to stay at work (Demir, 2011). The organizational manager should accept these problems and try to determine the causes of problems by measuring the behavior and attitudes of the employees' job satisfaction and the conceptual. The top management, who has become aware of the more effective and efficient use of human factor in organization, aims to solve these problems with various methods and programs with measures to increase working life quality (Türk, 2015). Apart from individual (organizational) and organizational factors, there are also social reasons that are largely uncontrollable which affect the quality of the working life. Social values, legal arrangements, trade union activities, labor force structure and technological developments are among these factors (Demir, 2011). The increase in the level of education in the society and thus the birth of new values ​​and norms is another social cause of the need to improve the quality of working life. The increase in the level of education has led to changes in the work-related expectations of employees. Employees do not only want to be satisfied with the material, but at the same time they do not want to take some other needs. As a result of this demand, measures have to be taken in order to increase the quality of working life (Uğur, 2010; Kayalar, 1997).

Main Factors Affecting Quality of Working Life

In the working life, the motivational tools applied to the employees, the value of the personnel waiting for the management, the value priority of the material and moral awards, the importance and priority of the measures taken for job security and workplace security, etc. vary according to the cultural levels of the subject countries. Depending on the cultural structure of the country and the organizational structure and therefore the differences in the understanding of the management from the country to the country, there are many researches examining the concept and elements of working life quality by taking into consideration the important factors. Walton, one of the most comprehensive studies on work life quality, has developed eight important conceptual categories related to the subject (Normala, 2010) Continuous development and improvement opportunities; 4) Social integration in the organization; 5) Laws in the organization; 6) Working and private living space; 7) Social dimension of working life;8) Adequate and fair wages. Another study was conducted by Sirgy and his colleagues. In this study, it is seen that there is a new method of defining seven important needs, each with different dimensions, based on the elimination of the working requirements for measuring the quality of work life (Aydın, Çelik & Uğurluoğlu, 2011). These are: 1) Satisfied with health and safety needs 2) Satisfied with family and economic needs 3) Satisfied with social needs 4) Satisfied with respect 5) Satisfaction with being able to perform 6) Satisfaction with knowledge 7) Satisfaction with creativity. The Sydney University of Australia emphasized very different factors in the research conducted in 2002 on the factors of work quality. According to the data obtained from 1001 employees working in different branches of business in the country, equal and fair wage system and job security are in the first two ranks. Among other expectations of employees are the fact that managers do not discriminate among employees at the workplace, are honest and fair, do not show bad attitudes and behavior towards employees, and treat employees in love and respect rules. The social relationships that employees establish with other employees at work, their interest and job satisfaction, and their appreciation and encouragement are among the other elements of work quality. In particular, the negative attitudes of the managers and the stressful work environment caused by the structure of management and work are the main factors that degrade the efficiency and productivity of the employee, while worsening the working quality of life (Considine, 2001).As a result, the quality of working life is examined with different perspectives as seen in all the explanations made and is taken up in terms of many factors. When these factors are examined, it is seen that there are many factors affecting the working life and therefore the quality of the working life is considered as a concept covering all the factors that directly or indirectly affect the work (Aydın, Çelik & Uğurluoğlu, 2011).

Research Method

Purpose of the Research

Aim of this study is to present the perceptual approaches of the employees regarding the factors affecting the quality of the working life in a factory which belongs to a firm (AK GIDA SAN. TİC. A.Ş.) which has its origins in İstanbul, and active in the production of the milk and dairy products, with production plants in different places of Turkey.

The Universe of Research, Constraint, Sampling and Methodology

The universe of the research is composed of 940 employees who works at a company which is active in the production of the milk and dairy products, with production plants in Turkey in different places (AK GIDA SAN. TIC.) Pamukova / Sakarya). The study was conducted 41 people. Field survey method was used in the study. The questionnaire consists of two parts. The first part contains questions about the demographic characteristics of employees. In the second part, there are questions aimed at measuring the perceptions of the employees about the factors affecting the quality of working life. Working Life Quality Scale developed by Aydın et al. (2011) is used. The study's quality of life scale consists of the original 52 questions and 6 sub-dimensions including job accidents, risks of occupational diseases, physical conditions at work, discrimination at work, opportunities for continuous improvement and improvement, organizational social integration, work stress and time pressure and legislation in the organization. In the scale, a 5-point Likert-type scale consisting of "absolutely no-1", "not participating", "undecided", "consensus" and "absolutely agree" 5 was used to measure the working quality of employees at the minimum level. The obtained data were evaluated using the SPSS 20 for Windows (Statistical Package for Social Science for Windows) package program. Cronbach Alpha coefficients were calculated to test the reliability of the scale. Percent distributions, arithmetic mean and standard deviation values ​​were used to interpret the answers that the employees gave to the questions on the quality of work life scale. The independent sample-t test and one-way analysis of variance were used to interpret whether the perceptions of employees' working life quality differed according to their demographic characteristics. The most important limitation of this study is the small number of samples. Participants were not able to make a very large sample because of the limited time in the organization in which they worked and some difficulties in collecting the data (such as the question of permission from the organization for questionnaire survey, some questionnaire returning empty). Increasing the number of samples in subsequent studies will be useful for the generalization of the results.

Findings

Demographical Findings

When the demographic characteristics of the participants (Table 1 ), 58.5% of the employees are composed of more than half of the men. Marital status is married (61%). In the distribution of employees according to age ranges, it is concentrated between 18-30 and 31-40 years (87,9%) 56,1% of the participants are undergraduate, 26,8% are associate graduates and 12,2% are high school graduates. Finally, 56.1% of the participants were up to 5 years; And 19,5% stated that they are working at 6-10 years.

Table 1 -
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Reliability (Cronbach Alpha) Analysis Findings

The Cronbach Alpha test was used to evaluate the reliability of the relevant scale. In the social sciences literature, this coefficient is greater than 0.70, which is considered sufficient for the internal reliability of the scales. The Cronbach's alpha coefficient for all of the scales is 0.760. As indicated in Table 2 , the alpha values for all sub-factors are greater than 0.70range from 0,709 to 0,873. These coefficients indicate that the reliability of the scale used is acceptable.

Table 2 -
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Findings Related to Work Life Quality Perceptions of Employees

The results in Table 3 show that the overall arithmetic mean of the responses to each of the factors affecting employees' working life qualities varied between 1.90 and 3.86. The highest average belongs to the "Organizational Social Integration" (X: 3.86) and the lowest average belongs to the factors "Work Accident, Occupational Disease Risks and Physical Working Conditions at Work" (X: 1.90). Participants see "Social Integration in Organization" as the most important factor in terms of working life quality. (92.7%), "I know exactly what to expect from me when I work" (83%), and "Work arrangements or problems are effective at the workplace (78%) had high participation with "participation" and "absolutely agree" answers. This result can be interpreted as the fact that the communication in the related organization is used effectively within the scope of the research, which also provides social integration.

 The other high-averaged factor is "Continuous Improvement and Improvement Opportunities". In this sub-factor, "My work requires learning new things" (82.9%), "I see worker as producer and useful" (80.5%) and "I feel like a valuable individual in the workplace / 6), "participation" and "strongly agree" answers. This result implies that they constantly perceive the opportunities for continuous development and improvement of the related organization within the scope of the research. On the other hand, "Work Accident, Occupational Disease Risks and Physical Working Conditions at Work" have the lowest average. (92.7%), "There is a risk of causing serious injury to someone else in my work" (90.3%), "There is a risk of harming an important device or product in my work" (% 85.4), "I strongly disagree" and "I do not agree" with the question "There is a risk of harming an important device or product in my work" (85.4%) and "There is a risk of exposure to physical violence in my work" between the answers. With this result, it can be said that this sub-factor did not affect the quality of working life of participants in this research.

Table 3 -
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Demographic Characteristics of Attendees and Relevance to Working Life Quality

Independent sample-t test and one-way ANOVA were used for this analysis. Significant differences in the level of "Work Stress and Time Print (p = 0,000) and Organizational Laws (p = 0,012)" (p <0,05) These differences were found to be in favor of women in terms of the "Job Stress and Time Print" (X = 3,0933) factor in terms of "Factors of the Organizational Law" (X = 3,7083). In other words, the "Job Stress and Time Print" factor of men; and that women perceive the "legislation in the organization" more positively. With regard to this situation, the responsibilities of the male employees about the family and the time they live in are adversely affected; it is thought that the expectations of women workers in terms of equality and job security can have an effect on these results.

In the second analysis, marital status was examined. (P = 0,990), "Continuous Improvement and Improvement Opportunities" (p = 0,122), "Occupational Accidents, Occupational Diseases and Occupational Physical Occupational Conditions" Significance values ​​of all of the factors of "Organizational Social Integration" (p = 0,709), "Work Stress and Time Print" (p = 0,298) and "Organizational Law" (p = 0,285) were calculated as p> 0,05. Therefore, it was determined that the participants did not show any significant difference in the quality of working life from the point of being married and single. As a result, most of the participants in this study were married (61%), and it is thought that there is no statistically significant difference between married and single.

Significant differences were found at the level of education of the participants and at the level of "Discrimination at Work" (p = 0,034), "Work stress and time print" (p = 0,000), "Legislation in the organization" (p = 0,001) This difference has been found to be in favor of high school graduates in terms of "Regulations at Work" (X = 4,066) in terms of "Discrimination at Work" (X = 4,000) and "Work Stress and Time Print" (X = 3,333). In other words, in this study, graduate alumni, "Workplace Discrimination" and "Work stress and time pressure" factor; whereas high school graduates perceive the "legislation in the organization" more positively. Regarding the level of education, it is thought that the expectation that such high school graduate employees should be treated equally and not discriminated may have an effect on these results. It is also believed that as the level of education increases, due to increased workload as a result of increased responsibilities, it can be effective at the conclusion of time constraints.

(P = 0,741), "Workplace Discrimination" (p = 0,373), "Continuous Improvement and Improvement Opportunities" (p = 0,243), "Occupational Disease Risks and Physical Working Conditions at Work Significance values ​​of all the factors of "Organizational Social Integration" (p = 0,345), "Work Stress and Time Print" (p = 0,082) and "Organizational Law" (p = 0,309) were calculated as p> 0,05. Thus, it was determined that participants did not show a significant difference in their working life qualities in terms of their ages in this study. As in the case of the marital status variable, it is thought that in the age variable, the majority of the participants in the study are in the age range of 18-30 (66%), which may cause a statistically insignificant difference between the ages of the participants.

Regarding the working time of the participants, the results were also found in the age and marital status variables. (P = 0,765), "Workplace Discrimination" (p = 0,597), "Continuous Improvement and Improvement Opportunities" (p = 0,232), "Organizational Social Integrity" p = 0,544), "Work stress and time print" (p = 0,330), "Legislation in the organization" (p = 0,404) were calculated as p> 0.05. Thus, it was determined that participants did not show any significant difference in working life qualities in terms of working time in this study. As is the case with the marital status and age variable, it is thought that the majority of the participants who participated in the study (59%) had a statistically insignificant difference between the study periods (59%).

Conclusion and Discussions

Quality of working life is one of the important factors affecting the working and social life of employees. Working in organizations where employees feel secure and where they can develop their talents will make them happy and productive. The increase in the productivity of organizations depends not only on the utilization of technological innovations but also on the management understanding of organization. For this, a modern management model should be adopted that is human-focused, brings people successful with common performance, and empowers the strengths of employees. This management model will enhance both the quality of work and the quality of life of the individual, which will consolidate the aims of organizations and employees into a common pavilion.

In this study, work accidents, risk of occupational diseases and working conditions at work, discrimination at work, continuous improvement and improvement opportunities, organizational social integration, work stress and time pressure and legislation in the organization constitute the sub-factors of work quality. According to the obtained data, the "Work Accident, Occupational Disease Risks and Physical Working Conditions at Work" are the least effective factors, while the "Organizational Social Integration" is the most important factor in the perceptions of working life quality for participants in this study. As the research subject is a company that produces milk and its derivatives, the sub-factor of "Work Accident, Occupational Disease Risks and Physical Working Conditions at Work" is the least effective factoras a result.

According to the answers given, there was a significant difference in relation to the sub-factors of "Work Stress and Time Print and Legislative in the Organizations". In terms of the "Job Stress and Time Print" factor, these differences were found to be in favor of the ladies in terms of the "legislation in the organization" factor. Statistically significant differences in the level of education of the participants and in the sub-factors "Discrimination at Work", "Work Stress and Time Print" and "Organizational Law" were determined. "Participation in Work" and "Work stress and time print" according to other participants and the factor of "Legislation in the event of high school graduates"were perceived more positively than the other participants.

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2019.01.02.16

Online ISSN

2357-1330