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Work‐family conflict and career success: the effects of domain‐specific determinants

Hassan I. Ballout (Faculty of Economic Sciences and Business Administration, The Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 23 May 2008




Despite widespread acknowledgement that work‐family conflict and career success are salient issues that impact individual wellbeing and organizational effectiveness, there is little research that studies how the two concepts are related. The purpose of this paper is to develop and present a tentative framework for understanding the relationships among antecedents of interrole conflict between work and family and career success.


Drawing on existing theoretical and empirical evidence the paper develops and presents a conceptual framework of the relationships between domain‐specific variables, work‐family conflict, and career success. The paper also presents propositions based on the relationships suggested by the framework.


The framework suggests that individual‐specific variables will be more likely to predict family‐to‐work conflict and perceived career success, while work‐specific variables will be more likely to predict work‐to‐family conflict and perceived career success. It also suggests that such domain‐specific variables influence both work‐family conflict and career success.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should examine empirically the linkages suggested by this framework, along with other domain‐specific and, perhaps, cultural‐specific variables that may explain or predict dimensions of organizational cultures that are most relevant to the types of work‐family conflict and to indicators of career success. The paper suggests that employees and employers would be well advised to identify appropriate strategies for balancing work and non‐work domains in such a way that employees strive to perform work and family roles successfully, and employers ensure that employees have the necessary “infrastucture” and tailored‐made family supportive programs to encourage them to achieve dual‐success: success in family relationships and success in careers.


This paper makes a valuable contribution to both the work‐family conflict and career success literatures by being one of the first to examine the effects of domain‐specific characteristics on the relationships between these important organizational concepts and by revealing that managing work‐family conflict and career decision making is relevant for employees, employers, and career consultants.



Ballout, H.I. (2008), "Work‐family conflict and career success: the effects of domain‐specific determinants", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 437-466.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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