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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2008

Noreen Heraty, Michael J. Morley and Jeanette N. Cleveland

The purpose of this brief paper is to introduce the papers in this special issue of Journal of Managerial Psychology, focused on “Complexities and challenges in the work

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this brief paper is to introduce the papers in this special issue of Journal of Managerial Psychology, focused on “Complexities and challenges in the workfamily interface”.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first introduces the theme of the special issue, and a brief outline of each paper contained in it is given.

Findings

There is concern that progress in the workfamily research area has been somewhat restricted and may have failed to take sufficient account of the complexity of workfamily issues.

Originality/value

The literature on the workfamily interface is complex, and theory in the field is uncertain and under‐developed. The papers in this special issue should further understanding of the challenges and complexities underscoring the workfamily interface.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 6 October 2014

Amy S. Wharton and Mychel Estevez

We examine chairs’ beliefs about the role of gender and gender inequality in their departments. Because work-family concerns have been central to explanations of gender…

Abstract

Purpose

We examine chairs’ beliefs about the role of gender and gender inequality in their departments. Because work-family concerns have been central to explanations of gender inequality in the academy, we pay special attention to these issues.

Methodology/approach

We analyze interview data collected from 52 department chairs at one research-intensive, public university.

Findings

Although the chairs we interviewed were sympathetic and aware in many respects, their views on gender, work, and family were filtered through the lens of personal responsibility and choice, an outmoded view of work as separate and distinct from family life, and a notion of gender as a personal characteristic rather than an entrenched feature of academic work and careers.

Originality/value

Our focus on departmental leaders fills an important gap in the literature, which has focused more on the perspectives of faculty and less on those with the power to frame gender issues.

Details

Gender Transformation in the Academy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-070-4

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 March 2012

Ujvala Rajadhyaksha

The purpose of this paper is to provide an in‐depth country perspective on work‐life balance issues in India.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an in‐depth country perspective on work‐life balance issues in India.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach is used that includes case studies of work‐life interventions offered by a sample of Indian organizations. Primary and secondary data were gathered through interviews with HR managers and from company web sites.

Findings

Commonly offered work‐life interventions by Indian companies address issues of gender equality, flexibility, stress reduction, health awareness and childcare.

Research limitations/implications

Sample of organizations in the study is purposive in nature and HR policies of smaller companies in the informal sector are not included. Future research needs to consider how India's unequal economic development across the organized and unorganized sectors may affect effectiveness of work‐life interventions.

Practical implications

Based on India's socio‐cultural realities additional work‐life interventions are suggested in the areas of elder care, employee training and commuting.

Social implications

Organizational work‐life interventions in India are varied and disparate and have focused mainly on the formal sector. There is no overarching government policy addressing work and family issues across different sectors. Implicit gendering of governmental policies and work‐life initiatives covertly reifies patriarchal structures that make such interventions necessary in the first place.

Originality/value

The paper exclusively brings out connections between India's socio‐economic context and workfamily issues of employees, which no other study has achieved before.

Details

South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2045-4457

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 April 2007

Samuel Rabinowitz

The purpose of this paper is to review a group of books focusing on workfamily research and applications.

1581

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review a group of books focusing on workfamily research and applications.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of a summary and critique of recently published books centering on workfamily issues.

Findings

Significantly expanded views of workfamily issues are represented in the multicultural, multidisciplinary perspectives presented in a series of books.

Originality/value

By considering a number of different publications, the researcher, instructor, or practitioner can learn about advances in the workfamily domain.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Farveh Farivar, Roslyn Cameron and Mohsen Yaghoubi

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between cultural dimensions and the roots of work-family balance issues in a developing non-Western cultural…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between cultural dimensions and the roots of work-family balance issues in a developing non-Western cultural context. Drawing upon Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, the study suggests national cultural dimensions can shape the roots of work-family balance.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was distributed among employees of 12 companies operating in the health industry. The survey collected both quantitative and qualitative data through two separate approaches: seven-point Likert scales and open-ended questions. The data were analyzed via thematic exploratory analysis and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis.

Findings

The quantitative data confirms the extant literature in relation to the negative effects of moonlighting, economic hardship and the absence of a comprehensive work-family balance strategy on employee work-family balance. The qualitative data proposes a new variable, weak social interaction, which becomes the most important roots of work-family imbalance at both work and family domain.

Practical implications

The present study suggests certain cultural dimensions such as high power distance hinders social interactions in the work and family domains, thereby increasing levels of work conflict, family conflict, and stress. Findings suggest organizations, especially multinationals, need to be cognizant of the role of cultural dimensions on human resource management practices related to work-family balance.

Originality/value

Very little literature addresses the impact of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions on work-family balance issues. The present study has contributed to the existing body of literature by introducing a new variable (weak social interaction) as an antecedent of work-family imbalance. Further, the study is the first in Iran that has collected qualitative data to investigate work-family balance issues.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 45 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 December 2019

Shweta Belwal, Rakesh Belwal and Suhaila Ebrahim Al-Hashemi

The purpose of this paper is to take cognisance of the work–life balance (WLB) challenges facing working women in Oman, make a review of the family-friendly policies…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to take cognisance of the work–life balance (WLB) challenges facing working women in Oman, make a review of the family-friendly policies (FFPs), related provisions in labour laws of various nations, and identify and suggest some FFP-based solutions for attracting women to private sector jobs.

Design/methodology/approach

Initially, desk research was used to review the labour laws of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and some pioneering countries known for their workplace policies using the major electronic databases and official websites. An exploratory approach was used to understand the lived experience of participants using 46 in-depth interviews. The data were analysed and the findings were explained and contextualised in terms of the Arab culture, wider social processes and consequences related to WLB.

Findings

The interviews revealed that the majority of women in the private sector are not fully aware of the labour laws and FFPs, and are not satisfied with the existing policies, as they do not provide the right WLB. Women in the private sector demand flexible working hours, privacy at work, reduced work hours and certain other benefits akin to the government sector. Omani Labour Law needs a review of FFPs in line with the best global practices and Oman’s diversification initiatives. The provision, awareness and implementation of FFPs in the workplace are necessary to attract Omani women to private sector jobs.

Research limitations/implications

This research focusses on Oman in particular and GCC countries in general in its coverage of Omani women workers. The outcomes would be important for the specific segment but would have limited potential to generalise.

Practical implications

The study of WLB and FFPs is of interest for both academia and industry globally. In its strategic vision 2040, Oman aims to encourage, support and develop the private sector to drive the national economy. To retain and boost the socio-economic development in the post-oil economy, the success of the private sector will depend on the participation of the Omani workforce. The role of working Omani women will be pivotal, for they form a substantial part of the skilled human resources inventory.

Social implications

Women working in Oman are influenced by labour laws, organisational culture, traditional attitudes and societal values and influences. The voices of women working in the private sector indicate a great need to create awareness of existing policies, ensure their compliance and devise additional workplace policies to enable women to contribute to the labour market.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of studies examining work policies and employment of women in the context of Oman in particular and the GCC Countries in general. Even in the extant literature, the sectoral imbalance between the government and private sector has not been explored from the perspective of WLB and FFPs. This study presents a unique approach and findings in this regard.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Egidio Riva

The purpose of this paper is to outline and assess the role of industrial relations in introducing work-family-related policies and investigate the drivers, nature and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline and assess the role of industrial relations in introducing work-family-related policies and investigate the drivers, nature and scope of contract provisions that were bargained in the following domains: flexible working arrangements, leave schemes, care services and other supportive arrangements. Analyses draw on information filed in a unique and restricted access repository, the SEcond-level Collective Bargaining Observatory (OCSEL) held by Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori (CISL), one of the major trade union organizations in Italy.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents and examines, by means of descriptive statistics and content analysis, available information on 285 company-level agreements around work-family-related issues that were signed in Italy between January 2012 and December 2015, in the aftermath of the great recession.

Findings

Work-family issues do not seem to be a major bargaining concern. The availability of specific arrangements is mostly limited to the domain of working time flexibility and it is not quite innovative in its contents. Besides, there is little evidence that the mutual gains rationale is embedded in collective bargaining in the field. However, mature and well-established labour relations result in more innovative and strategic company-level bargaining that is also conducive to work-family-related arrangements.

Research limitations/implications

The sample is not representative. Thus, the results obtained in this study cannot be extended to make predictions and conclusions about the population of collective agreements negotiated and signed in Italian companies in the period under scrutiny.

Originality/value

Research on the industrial relations context that lies behind the design and implementation of work-family workplace arrangements is still limited. Furthermore, the evidence is inconclusive. This manuscript intends to address this research gap and provide a much more nuanced understanding.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 August 2013

Egidio Riva

The purpose of this article is to investigate workfamily interventions in Italian organizations within the context of a national welfare regime and in the face of recession.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to investigate workfamily interventions in Italian organizations within the context of a national welfare regime and in the face of recession.

Design/methodology/approach

The results of case studies carried out on eight leading companies in the field of workplace workfamily policies are presented. The case study research is supported by a literature review as well as an analysis of national legislation and political agenda concerning workfamily issues.

Findings

Findings indicate that, against the backdrop of the institutional framework, one impact of the recession may be the setting aside of workplace workfamily intervention, especially in small and medium‐sized organizations with limited resources. Evidence collected using case study research suggests that this has not happened in larger companies where employers have adopted a strategic approach to workfamily issues. In these larger firms, workfamily policies have been assessed and reorganized as a result of an increasing concern for workplace performance and efficiency. In this regard, resilience to the crisis in workplace arrangements is related to the fact that the adoption of an evidence‐based approach makes economic sense and contributes to obtaining the long‐term support needed from important stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

The case study companies are not necessarily representative of current workplace intervention in the field; a generalization of the findings may not therefore be appropriate. They do however provide valuable insights for both future research on workplace support and public policy design.

Originality/value

The article investigates the links between the wider social, economic and political context and workplace workfamily arrangements in specific organizations.

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2007

Jeff Hyman and Juliette Summers

The purpose of this article is to assess the influence of different forms of organisational representation on the provision of work‐life balance employment policies.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to assess the influence of different forms of organisational representation on the provision of work‐life balance employment policies.

Design/methodology/approach

The article uses on‐site semi‐structured interviews with employees, HR and line managers and trade union representatives in four case studies as well as survey responses from a total of 17 institutions in the financial services sector.

Findings

Employees do influence work‐life balance issues in the financial services sector, and work‐life balance initiatives had greater breadth, codification and quality where independent unions were recognised. In all cases however, the extent of departure from minimal statutory levels of provision was not great.

Research limitations/implications

The nature of the study and its focus on Scotland may limit the generalisability of the findings into other sectors or regions.

Practical implications

In light of the evolving work‐life balance legislative framework, this article should be of practical interest to trade unions, practitioners and academics. It demonstrates that organisations and unions need to retain and develop a focus on work‐life balance applications.

Originality/value

The article indicates the prevalence of management control of the work‐life balance agenda and management's discretion in the operation of work‐life issues. Employees and their representatives accepted this control, and their private individualised responsibility for balancing work and life, without challenge. These results inform current understanding of how work‐life balance legislation, based on a voluntarist agenda, translates into practice.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 21 September 2017

Patricia Drentea and Sarah Ballard

This qualitative study explores college students’ gender schemas. Sandra Bem’s pioneering work on sex roles and gender schemata are highlighted.

Abstract

Purpose

This qualitative study explores college students’ gender schemas. Sandra Bem’s pioneering work on sex roles and gender schemata are highlighted.

Methodology/approach

Over 600 college students at a diverse southeastern university were asked to describe the advantages and disadvantages to men’s and women’s gender. Although the question was framed broadly, students devoted significant attention to issues surrounding work and family, highlighting the importance of these roles to their understanding of gender. Over 6,800 responses were coded in The Ethnograph software.

Findings

The results showed a gendered schema among these students, with gendered views of work and family, in which men are associated with work and women largely with family. Some racial patterns are also discussed.

Social implications

This chapter ends with a discussion on how the gender schemas expressed support and maintained a separation of work and family.

Details

Discourses on Gender and Sexual Inequality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-197-3

Keywords

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