Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Nathan Bennett

Second Advisor

Lars Mathiassen

Third Advisor

Pam Ellen


Employee benefits are a pivotal part of the exchange between employer and employee (Lucero & Allen, 1994). The average cost of an employee benefits program is about one-third of an employee’s base salary ("Employer Costs for Employee Compensation Summary," 2016). Because a major goal of benefits programs is to maximize employee retention, human resources departments have evolved their benefits packages as preferences in the workplace change, for example offering employees more flexibility, giving employees time to serve their community and providing them with wellness incentives (Ko & SeungUk, 2014). While the employee is the primary beneficiary of company-provided benefits, additional benefit may accrue to the employer when the employee’s partner is considered. Though previous research has demonstrated the partner’s importance to the overall employment relationship, there is a dearth of research designed to offer an understanding of the ways an employee benefit package impacts a partner’s view of the organization. This study considers the partner perceptions of employee benefits and the relationship these perceptions have with perceptions of work-family conflict, work-family enrichment, partner affective commitment and ultimately employee affective commitment. Survey results suggest the partner is an important consideration for employers due to the positive relationships demonstrated between both partner perceptions of benefits and partner affective commitment and partner affective commitment and employee affective commitment. Because employee commitment has a strong relationship with desirable workplace attitudes and behaviors, such as job satisfaction and intent to turnover, this study’s results add to the limited research available regarding the partner’s mediating role in the employment relationship.