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A cross‐cultural study of work/family demands, work/family conflict and wellbeing: the Taiwanese vs British

Luo Lu (National Central University, Jhongli City, Republic of China)
Robin Gilmour (Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK)
Shu‐Fang Kao (National Taiwan University, Taipei City, Taiwan)
Mao‐Ting Huang (Fu‐Jen Catholic University, Taipei City, Taiwan)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 January 2006




The aim of the research is twofold: to explore relations between work/family demands, work‐family conflict (WFC), family‐work conflict (FWC) and wellbeing outcomes, and to contrast employees from an individualistic (UK) and a collectivistic (Taiwan) society.


Heterogeneous samples of full‐time employees in Taiwan and UK were surveyed using structured questionnaires.


For both the Taiwanese and British, work demands were positively related to WFC, whereas family demands were positively related to FWC. Both WFC and FWC were negatively related to wellbeing for employees in the two countries. More importantly, it was found that, for British, there was a stronger positive relation between workload and WFC, as well as a stronger positive relation between sharing household chores and FWC than for Taiwanese.

Research limitations/implications

The relatively small sample size and the use of self‐report method are limitations of the present study. However, our results have both theoretical and practical implications. It is noted that Western findings regarding work/family issues may not generalize completely to a different cultural context. Consequently, company policies pertaining to work time and family issues should be re‐formulated, taking the core cultural values such as individualism‐collectivism into account.


The cross‐cultural comparative design is a major thrust of the present study, and the systematic examination of antecedents, moderators, and consequences of WFC and FWC is a rare effort in the field.



Lu, L., Gilmour, R., Kao, S. and Huang, M. (2006), "A cross‐cultural study of work/family demands, work/family conflict and wellbeing: the Taiwanese vs British", Career Development International, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 9-27.



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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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