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The influence of family responsibilities, career fields and gender on career success: An empirical study

Wolfgang Mayrhofer (Interdisciplinary Unit of Management and Organisational Behaviour, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Vienna, Austria)
Michael Meyer (Unit of Nonprofit Management, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Vienna, Austria)
Michael Schiffinger (Interdisciplinary Unit of Management and Organisational Behaviour, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Vienna, Austria)
Angelika Schmidt (Institute of Change Management and Management Development, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Vienna, Austria)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 28 March 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to analyze empirically the consequences of family responsibilities for career success and the influence of career context variables and gender on this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample consists of 305 business school graduates (52 percent male) from a major Central European university who finished their studies around 2000 and who were in their early career stages (i.e. third and fourth career years).

Findings

The paper reports a negative relationship between family responsibilities and objective and subjective career success via work centrality. There is also substantive support for the effect of contextual factors on the relationship between family situations and career success, emphasizing the importance of a multi‐level perspective. Finally, evidence of gender effects exists.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical generalizability of the results is limited by the structure of the sample. Qualitative in‐depth studies are needed to further understand the relationships found.

Practical implications

The results underscore the importance of the work‐family‐interface for employee retention measures. Tailored HR policies are crucial.

Originality/value

Theoretically, the paper develops a multi‐level causal model of specific aspects of work‐family relations including variables ranging from meso (career context) to more micro (family, individual). Empirically, the study focuses on young business professionals prior to having a family or in the early stages of their family life.

Keywords

Citation

Mayrhofer, W., Meyer, M., Schiffinger, M. and Schmidt, A. (2008), "The influence of family responsibilities, career fields and gender on career success: An empirical study", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 292-323. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940810861392

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited