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A qualitative investigation of the work-nonwork experiences of dual-career professional couples without children

Galina Boiarintseva (Management, Niagara University, Lewiston, New York, USA)
Souha R. Ezzedeen (School of HRM, York University, Toronto, Canada)
Anna McNab (Management, Niagara University, Lewiston, New York, USA)
Christa Wilkin (School of HRM, York University, Toronto, Canada)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 5 January 2022

Issue publication date: 13 December 2022

337

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the idiosyncratic relationships between work and nonwork among dual-career professional couples (DCPCs) intentionally without children, considering individual members' role salience, nonwork responsibilities and care or career orientation.

Design/methodology/approach

Interview data from 21 Canadian and American couples (42 individuals) was used to explore the research question: How do DCPCs without children perceive their work-nonwork balance?

Findings

DCPCs without children are a heterogenous demographic. Some couples are career oriented, some care oriented, some exhibit both orientations, shaping their experience of work-nonwork balance. Unlike popular stereotypes, they do have nonwork responsibilities and interests outside of their thriving careers. Similar to their counterparts with children, they face conflicts managing work and nonwork domains.

Originality/value

Based on theories of role salience, work-nonwork conflict, enrichment and balance, the authors suggest that analyses of work-nonwork balance should include nonwork activities other than child caring. The authors further propose that the experience of the work-nonwork interface varies according to whether couples are careerist, conventional, non-conventional or egalitarian. The study also demonstrates that work-nonwork experiences are relational in nature and should be explored beyond a strictly individual perspective.

Keywords

Citation

Boiarintseva, G., Ezzedeen, S.R., McNab, A. and Wilkin, C. (2022), "A qualitative investigation of the work-nonwork experiences of dual-career professional couples without children", Personnel Review, Vol. 51 No. 9, pp. 2041-2060. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-01-2021-0006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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