When work enriches family‐life: the mediational role of professional development opportunities

Monica Molino (Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy)
Chiara Ghislieri (Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy)
Claudio G. Cortese (Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Publication date: 15 February 2013



Several studies have pointed out the importance of work‐family enrichment (WFE) for individuals' well‐being and organizations and for this reason, it seems important to understand how organizations may promote it. This study attempts to understand the role of organizational resources and, particularly, of opportunities for professional development (OPD), in promoting WFE. Specifically, it aims to test the mediation role of OPD between job resources (supervisor and colleague support, job security) and WFE.


The study was conducted using a self‐report questionnaire administered to 353 employees and self‐employed workers from different occupational sectors.


Filling a gap in the literature, the results showed that two job resources (supervisor support and job security) increase OPD which, in turn, mediates the relationship between the two job resources and WFE. Colleague support showed only a direct positive effect on WFE.

Research limitations/implications

The first limitation of this research concerns the cross‐sectional design of the study, due to which no causal conclusions can be drawn. Moreover, future research might integrate some job demands and additional job resources into the model. Finally, regarding OPD, it is necessary to improve both understanding and measurement of this construct.

Practical implications

Based on the study's findings, organizations are encouraged to improve opportunities for job training and professional development, with important benefits for individuals, in terms of quality of work and life, and for organizations, in terms of better job attitudes and performance. Moreover, with regard to job security, more protection should be given to workers in order to enhance the quality of workplace learning and extra‐work life.


This study highlights the importance of integrating OPD into work‐family studies, demonstrating their role in enhancing the quality of life in the family domain. Furthermore, this study is one of the first to focus on job security as a significant resource in promoting professional development.



Molino, M., Ghislieri, C. and Cortese, C. (2013), "When work enriches family‐life: the mediational role of professional development opportunities", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 98-113. https://doi.org/10.1108/13665621311299780

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