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The purpose of this paper is to provide an updated and theory-driven meta-analysis of work–family conflict (WFC). The authors quantitatively review the relationships…
The purpose of this paper is to provide an updated and theory-driven meta-analysis of work–family conflict (WFC). The authors quantitatively review the relationships between WFC and three pairs of antecedents and several consequences.
A meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the research model. Specifically, the authors adopt a resource-based perspective (i.e. conservation of resources (COR) theory) to investigate the relationships between three pairs of antecedents (demand/control, autonomy/hours spent at both work and family domains and role overload/flexibility) and WFC. While COR theory argues that resource loss perceptions would generate much more influential impact on individuals comparing to that of resource gain, both favourable and unfavourable antecedents, representing resource gain and resource loss, respectively, are incorporated in each pair of antecedents. This inclusion of contrary antecedents allows the authors to investigate the comparison of the relationships between the favourable antecedents – WFC relationships and the unfavourable factors – WFC relationships. In addition, the authors analyse how and to what extent WFC influences employees’ attitudes (i.e. commitment), behaviours (i.e. performance) towards both work and family, and their career consequences.
The meta-analytical findings generally support the hypotheses. Work and family demands are found positively related to WFC, while having a control at either work or family would be negatively related to WFC. Perceiving a high level of autonomy at work is negatively related to WFC, and hours spend at work has a positive relation with WFC. Role overload at both work and family are associated with WFC, while having flexibility from work schedule would be negatively related to WFC. In addition, WFC is negatively related to employee career development outcomes.
First, the authors adopt a resource-based view to organise both favourable and unfavourable antecedents of WFC. Second, this paper aims at extending the investigation on WFC consequences to performance at both work and family, commitment to both work and family, and employee career outcomes, because all of them are critical consequences but not fully explored in previous meta-analyses. Third, this paper has incorporated newly explored correlates of WFC (e.g. employee career development-related outcomes) and quantitatively reviewed their relationships with WFC.