Quantitative Literacy and Work-Family Issues

Activity Description:


Using tables to analyze statistics and then create client reports


1. Scenario: In your position as an organizational consultant, you are typically hired by clients to help assess problems and issues faced by employers. You were recently hired by a hospital that has been working to institute flexible work arrangements. The hospital management wants to know how employees working in different positions in the hospital feel about the level of flexibility offered.

As part of your research design, you proposed fielding a short survey to a random sample of hospital employees (you also collected qualitative data through focus groups). Using a list of over 35,000 hospital employees, you randomly selected 2,500 employees to participate in the survey. A paper survey was administered to the sample through the employee mail system and employees were allowed to use work time to complete the survey. Your client is interested in evidence-based answers to the following questions:

  • Are flexible working arrangements perceived as helpful by hospital employees?
  • Are there any problems associated with flexible work arrangements?
  • Are the responses from employees generally positive or negative when they discuss working at the hospital?

2. Your Task: Your research assistant compiled and analyzed the data in the PDF. You are responsible for writing the client report. You decide to draft answers to the following 3 questions to get you started on the report. In all cases you link your analysis to information in the tables:

3. Which work arrangements are perceived to be most helpful by hospital employees? Is there a link between perceptions of helpfulness and gender?

4. What are the costs and benefits of instituting flexible working arrangements among hospital staff?

5. What do the survey data tell us about the working environment at the hospital?


Click on the document below to view the data tables (in PDF format). Document will open in a new browser window.

Activity Source:

Sweet, Stephen, Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Joshua Mumm, Judith Casey, and Christina Matz. 2006. Teaching Work and Family: Strategies, Activities, and Syllabi. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.

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