Soumya Naidu


This study examined the effects of work-life balance, or lack thereof, on the use of self as instrument by consultants from a physical, cognitive, and action perspective. Organization development practitioners may not be aware of importance that the development of self has on their ability to be effective consultants, and how much of an impact the ability to maintain a balanced, well-rounded life has on the self as instrument. A mixed method approach was used, which consisted of a survey set (made up of four separate scales) and an interview process. The survey gathered demographics and data on work and family role strain, physical stress at work, physical stress in a nonwork environment, and role influences. Fifty-three members of the master's of science in organization development listserv email group were involved in the study. Participants had to be employed full-time and have at least 5 years of work experience. Six participants were randomly selected for an interview. Content and statistical analyses were used to examine the data. Married participants showed higher nonwork stress than their unmarried counterparts. People with a high role strain indicated uniformly higher strain and burnout in both work and nonwork environments. Two key attributes--personal relationships and time management--were found to affect work-life balance and, in turn, the self as instrument. These attributes are also affected by work-life balance. Three limitations affected this study: a narrowly focused population, researcher bias, and survey design. Suggestions for future research include expanding this study to a larger sample and a wider group (not just organization development practitioners), utilizing multiple raters to confirm analysis of data and to avoid any self-report bias that might affect the research, and using shorter, more appropriate survey instruments.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Work-life balance; Research projects (MSOD)

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Jamieson, David W.;