Ellen Kossek is the Basil S. Turner Professor at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and the Research Director of the Butler center for Leadership Excellence. Ellen is an internationally recognized thought leader on employer support of work and personal life integration, gender, diversity, human resource innovation, and social change. She has won a Work-Life Legacy award for helping to build and advance the work-life movement. She has also won the Rosabeth Moss Kanter work-family research excellence award and the Sage Scholarly achievement award for advancing understanding of gender and diversity in organizations. Prior to becoming a professor she worked on human resource issues for major corporations in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Ellen is the first elected President of the Work-Family Researchers Network.
In this episode, Stew and Ellen discuss the various ways by which we manage interruptions or negotiate boundaries across different domains of life; some people tend to integrate or blend, some tend to be separators, and others cycle between these two strategies. They talk about other factors such as how work-centric or family-centric or dual-centric we tend to be and also how much control we have over our boundaries. These three factors -- boundary management, identity or orientation, and control -- all affect our happiness and our productivity. In her article, Managing Work-Life Boundaries in the Digital Age, Ellen provides a diagnostic tool you can use to assess your own preferred strategy. They also discuss research on ways universities are addressing burnout and strain induced by conflict between work and other parts of life.