New Way of Working: Match or mismatch for a public sector organisation?
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The New Way of Working’ (a translation of the Dutch concept ‘Het Nieuwe Werken’) receives ample attention and is enormously popular in both private and public organisations. However, the empirical evidence about the value and applicability of this concept for the public sector is missing (De Leede et al., 2011). It is interesting to investigate this, because the characteristics of the public sector seem to be conflicting with the values and principles of NWoW. The tendency of public managers to establish increased levels of review and approval, for example, is opposite to working based on mutual trust. This study aims to contribute to insights in the effects of NWoW in the Dutch public sector. More specifically, this study concentrates on the question if NWoW indeed leads to an improvement in productivity, well-being and the work-life balance of individual employees of a Dutch municipality. Following Bijl (2007, 2009), NWoW is defined as a change in the following four dimensions: technology, physical workplace, organisation and motivation. This study examines how these four dimensions influence the productivity, well-being and work-life balance of public sector employees. Regression analysis show that the dimensions of NWoW indeed have a positive effect on the productivity and well-being of employees. Further analysis confirmed that the four dimensions of NWoW can be seen as a second order formative construct. The regressions analysis of the second order formative construct reveals also a positive relation between NWoW and the productivity and well-being of employees. However, the results of this study cannot confirm the relation between the dimensions of NWoW and the work-life balance or between the second order formative construct and the work-life balance.