Diagnosing the Distance: An Exploration into Remote and Mobile Employee Viewpoints on Corporate Commitment and Wellbeing using Q Methodology

  • Justin Maltby-Smith

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

The aim of this research was to gain a critical understanding of the subjective viewpoints of remote and mobile employees (RMEs) on corporate commitment and wellbeing, and to create a conceptual framework to inform the future strategic plans for a medium sized enterprise in the United Kingdom (UK).

The literature search revealed a stratum of complex, multi-faceted discourse and social constructions around the subject of remote workers in terms of their definition, identification, and impact on modern working practices. A gap in the research literature identified that Q methodology had not been used before to elicit the views of RMEs. Furthermore, no published papers relating to RMEs and their viewpoints on the theoretical topics of role identity, remote working and job satisfaction were found. This significant finding led to Q methodology being pursued as it minimised the potential for researcher bias and maximised the opportunity for RMEs to give their personal account. The total RME sample was N = 50 and was split into two distinct categories, N = 42 Area Engineers (AEs) and N = 8 Regional Engineering Managers (REMs).

The results revealed four distinct factors (shared viewpoints) within the Area Engineers’ category, Factor 1: ‘Supported and Proud’; Factor 2: ‘Remote and Distant’; Factor 3: ‘Controlled and Concerned’; Factor 4: ‘Work and Life Balance’, and two distinct factors within the Regional Engineering Managers’ category, Factor 1: ‘Engaged and Focused’; Factor 2: ‘Challenged Leaders’. These six factors were interpreted and the emergent social viewpoints discussed further in relation to existing literature and the two research questions. This discussion and analysis led to the construction of an RME conceptual framework. The findings, analysis and RME conceptual framework within the study represents new insight to move existing knowledge and professional practice forward. Thus, the aims and objectives of the study have been met by providing an original contribution to the domain of RMEs. Limitations were acknowledged and recommendations for further research suggested.
Date of AwardOct 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorPeter Lawrence (Supervisor) & Sandy MacDonald (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • remote and mobile employees
  • RMEs
  • engagement
  • corporate commitment
  • wellbeing
  • role identity
  • remote working
  • job satisfaction

Cite this

Diagnosing the Distance: An Exploration into Remote and Mobile Employee Viewpoints on Corporate Commitment and Wellbeing using Q Methodology
Maltby-Smith, J. (Author). Oct 2018

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis