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Family-friendly work perceptions: a cross country analysis

Diane M. Nelson (College of Business, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, DC, USA)
Stoney L. Brooks (Department of Computer Information Systems, Middle Tennessee University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA)
Arrvvind Sahaym (Department of Management, Information Systems and Entrepreneurship, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, DC, USA)
John B. Cullen (Department of Management, Information Systems and Entrepreneurship, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, DC, USA)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




An international archival data set resulting from a survey of workers in 27 countries is studied, examining certain individual factors affecting family-friendly work perceptions (FFWP) beginning within the USA and, then, studying FFWP across a select group of six countries, specifically comparing the USA to Bulgaria, Denmark, Japan, Russia and South Africa.


The paper reviews studies on gender differences affecting FFWP, focusing on International Social Survey Programme Work Orientation III Survey 2005.


The six-country comparative analysis shows differences: in the demographic factors in the effects of gender, age and marital status, and the work context factors of number of work hours and type of employer on FFWP; FFWP for those who are self-employed (entrepreneurs), government workers, those working for public companies and those working for private companies and self-employed (entrepreneurial) workers show greater appreciation for family-friendly work practices than those who are government workers and those working for public and private companies.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of this research include the drawbacks of using secondary data such as the method of data collection, the quality of cross-national data and the fit between the manifest variable survey responses with the latent construct.

Practical implications

Managers need to be aware of the importance of family-friendly work practices to their employee base. Failure to match the desired level of FFWP could lead to a less productive and unhappy workforce.

Social implications

Cultural effects were found in the results, indicating that demographics have differing effects across cultures, but workplace factors are constant across cultures.


The paper provides valuable information on gender differences across cultures.



Nelson, D.M., Brooks, S.L., Sahaym, A. and Cullen, J.B. (2017), "Family-friendly work perceptions: a cross country analysis", Gender in Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 300-316.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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