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Islander Business Faculty Win Outstanding Published Manuscript Award on ‘Work-Life Balance’ Research

October 26, 2017

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Ask any recent college grad – the ultimate dream career is one that includes flexible work arrangements, allowing for distribution of time between their job and other activities, such as family, personal pursuits and community involvement. In other words, work-life balance is wanted throughout different careers, whether in business, accounting, engineering, or any field. Two Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi College of Business professors, Dr. Murphy Smith and Dr. Katherine Taken Smith, along with Dr. Tracy Brower, of Texas A&M University-College Station, teamed up to publish, “How Work-Life Balance, Job Performance and Ethics Connect: Perspectives of Current Future Accountants.” Their research won the 2017 Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) Outstanding Published Manuscript Award from the American Accounting Association Gender Issues and Work-Life Balance Section.

Their study shows that future and current accountants believe that a healthy work-life balance is connected to work satisfaction. This further proves, they say, that flexible work arrangements which enable employees to set up work schedules different from the traditional “8 to 5” work day are more desired.

“Prior research has shown that a work environment that facilitates work-life balance not only benefits the personal lives of employees, but leads to better job performance and ethical decision-making,” said Dr. Murphy Smith, Professor of Accounting at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “Allocation of time between career and personal life is an age-old challenge for working people.”

 The award was presented at the American Accounting Association annual meeting, held in San Diego, California on Aug. 8, and was published in Volume 20 of the leading accounting ethics journal, “Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting.”

“Work-life balance is a global issue,” said Dr. Katherine Taken Smith, Assistant Professor of Marketing at A&M-Corpus Christi. “Prior research in the U.S. and other countries has shown that accounting firms, industry firms and government organizations, are striving to address work-life balance concerns of their accountants and other employees.”

Dr. Murphy Smith says the challenge of attaining work-life balance and keeping money in right perspective is age-old.

“Solomon, the ancient king of Israel, said, ‘Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness,'” said Dr. Murphy Smith. “Even a millennium later, Jesus of Nazareth warned against devoting one’s life to gaining material wealth above all else.”

The authors conclude this: work-life balance is important to both future and current accountants, and is a major factor in career-related decisions, and flexible work arrangements are a key consideration in choosing an employer. Their research also shows that accountants strongly agree that the availability of flexible work arrangements is vital to long term job satisfaction and that flexible work arrangements are particularly relevant to employees with children.

“The issue of work-life balance is one that people around the world are trying to solve,” said Dr. Katherine Taken Smith. “Flexible work arrangements are a major factor for career-related decisions and long-term satisfaction in a person’s career.”

Both Dr. Murphy Smith and Dr. Katherine Taken Smith began working in the College of Business at the Island University in fall 2017.

Dr. Murphy Smith’s academic record includes numerous research articles, books and monographs, academic conference presentations, research grants, and awards for teaching and research. He ranks in the top one percent of authors on Social Sciences Research Network with over 53,000 article-downloads. Dr. Smith’s research examines ethics, international accounting, and the impact of religiosity on business and society. His work has been reported in various news media, including National Public Radio, Fortune, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Katherine Smith is a highly published professor with numerous honors and recognitions. Dr. Smith ranks in the top two percent of authors on Social Sciences Research Network based on article-downloads. Google Scholar shows that her work has been cited over 900 times. Her research interests include corporate social responsibility, green marketing, and impact of social media on life satisfaction.