To read this content please select one of the options below:

The relationship of social support to the work‐family balance and work outcomes of midlife women

Wendy C. Marcinkus (Carroll School of Management, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA)
Karen S. Whelan‐Berry (School of Business, Utah Valley State College, Orem, Utah, USA)
Judith R. Gordon (Carroll School of Management, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA)

Women in Management Review

ISSN: 0964-9425

Article publication date: 20 March 2007

7416

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to examine the relationship of a network of social support for midlife women with their attitudes toward work‐family balance and work outcomes, including job satisfaction, organisational commitment, and career accomplishment.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 1,089 women between the ages of 35 and 50 across three organizations were surveyed and then 72 of them interviewed.

Findings

Results indicate that the women generally received more personal social support than work‐based social support and more instrumental than expressive support from all sources. Work‐based social support was positively associated with job satisfaction, organisational commitment, and career accomplishment; personal social support was also associated with job satisfaction and organisational commitment. Work‐family balance may partially mediate the relationship between social support and work outcomes.

Originality/value

Much of what is known about work‐life issues centers on the work‐family conflicts of younger women with children. Perceptions are explored of work‐life balance among women at midlife, an understudied population with significant work and personal responsibilities. This study contributes to research by examining the relationships among the full network of social support, work‐family balance, and work‐related outcomes, as well as the nature of this support for working women. The combination of quantitative and qualitative methods provides substantive insights into the complexity of these relationships for women at midlife.

Keywords

Citation

Marcinkus, W.C., Whelan‐Berry, K.S. and Gordon, J.R. (2007), "The relationship of social support to the work‐family balance and work outcomes of midlife women", Women in Management Review, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 86-111. https://doi.org/10.1108/09649420710732060

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles