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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2013

Egidio Riva

The purpose of this article is to investigate work‐family 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 work‐family 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 work‐family 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 work‐family issues.

Findings

Findings indicate that, against the backdrop of the institutional framework, one impact of the recession may be the setting aside of workplace work‐family 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 work‐family issues. In these larger firms, work‐family 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 work‐family arrangements in specific organizations.

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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

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Article
Publication date: 31 March 2020

Carla Freire and Claudia Bettencourt

The purpose of this paper is to explore the mediating effect of the work–family conflict in the relation between ethical leadership and job satisfaction.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the mediating effect of the work–family conflict in the relation between ethical leadership and job satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was answered by 234 nursing professionals working in Portuguese public health institutions.

Findings

Regression analyses indicate that there is a positive relationship between ethical leadership and satisfaction and a negative relationship between ethical leadership and the nurse's work–family conflict. Furthermore, it was revealed that the work–family conflict mediated (partially) the relationship between ethical leadership and job satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

Ethical leadership was measured by assessing the nurses' perceptions of their leaders' character. The cross-sectional data limited the possibility of establishing the causality of the study variables, where the generalization of results was not possible due to the fact that data were obtained in public health institutions alone.

Practical implications

Considering that ethics precede good relations between the manager and collaborator, it is recommended that organizations develop ethical training for their leaders, more specifically in the case of head nurses.

Originality/value

The added value of this empirical study lies in the mediated role of the work–family conflict in the analysis of the relationship between ethical leadership and job satisfaction.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 41 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2021

Florina Guadalupe Arredondo-Trapero, José Carlos Vázquez-Parra and Ana Sofía González-Arredondo

The aim of this article is to analyze the relationship between the personal life situation and marital status of the worker and how this relates to organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to analyze the relationship between the personal life situation and marital status of the worker and how this relates to organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and job flexibility. The study has been carried out with a group of Mexican employees from a commercial company located in the northeast of the México.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is a nonexperimental empirical study using t-test, Levene’s test and Cohen’s test to analyze the significant relationship between the variables under study for 419 employees. The questionnaire was applied only once without a control group against which to compare. The study was carried out in a commercial company located in a city in northeastern Mexico, covering four municipalities in the conurbation area.

Findings

The research reveals that those workers who participated in the study and who have direct family responsibilities show greater OCB and value job flexibility more highly. The tests also found that a flexible working policy is valued by all those with direct family responsibilities, regardless of their marital status. It is also shown that there is a positive relationship between job flexibility and OCB, although not a strong one.

Practical implications

Decent work implies labor policies that support women and men to have an adequate work–life balance. Companies seeking work–family balance through the implementation of policies such as flexible working arrangements should consider the domestic background of their employees, as this has a direct impact on competitive advantage and is of importance when recruiting and retaining human talent. These findings may also be useful for companies interested in implementing flexible working policies to retain employees with family responsibilities who value the ability to reconcile work and family life.

Originality/value

This research demonstrates the relevance of OCB and job flexibility for employees. If the company wants to enhance OCB, they must consider that personal situation as well as the employee's marital status influences OCB. They should also consider that work flexibility is highly valued by those employees who have children or family dependents.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2018

Eun Jung Ko and Sang Soo Kim

The purpose of this paper is to investigate gender differences in motivations to use flexible work arrangements (FWAs) in Korea.

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1972

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate gender differences in motivations to use flexible work arrangements (FWAs) in Korea.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a literature review on theory of planned behaviour (TPB), this study considers four motivational factors that influence the intention to use FWA: motivation for personal life, motivation for productivity, peer behaviour and concerns about career disadvantages. Survey response data drawn from 92 male and 105 female Korean workers were used to analyse differences by gender.

Findings

As for the male respondents, all four motivational factors have a significant effect on the intention to use FWA. However, in the female respondents, the effects of concerns about career disadvantages on the intention to use FWA are not significant. The results of gender differences analysis show that significant difference was not found in the effect of motivation for personal life on the intention to use FWA while the other three motivational factors have significant differences by gender.

Research limitations/implications

In this research, basing its conceptual background on TPB, a novel approach is taken by introducing motivational factors as the antecedents of intention to use FWA. This is a more systematic view on individuals’ behavioural mechanism relating to the intention to choose FWA. It is also meaningful in that this study looks at the intention to use FWA from a broader perspective by suggesting gender differences as critical analysis criteria given the uniqueness of Korean labour market.

Practical implications

For an effective operation of FWA, it is important not only to launch a flexible working programme itself, but also to ensure that the users are properly understood and fairly evaluated.

Originality/value

Considering the motivations of utilising FWA from various angles will contribute to coming up with various measures to raise the use and effectiveness of FWA.

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2012

Jan Windebank

The purpose of this paper is to analyse work‐family reconciliation policy during the Sarkozy presidency in France, assessing the extent to which Sarkozy's injunction on…

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738

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse work‐family reconciliation policy during the Sarkozy presidency in France, assessing the extent to which Sarkozy's injunction on the French to “work more to earn more” has provided a new frame for policy in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses the policy debates and initiatives concerning work‐family reconciliation in France since 2007 and seeks to identify the frames of reference concerning the problems of and solutions to combining paid work and parenthood which have structured this policy process.

Findings

The change in employment policy away from work‐sharing and towards activation of previously economically‐inactive groups has influenced work‐family reconciliation policy in that both incentive measures (creation of more collective and subsidised childcare places) and coercive measures (reduction of the length of parental leave benefits) have been put in place or debated in order to increase the number of mothers of young children in the labour market. Feminist discourse has been used to justify proposals for the reduction in length of paid parental leaves representing an example of “triangulation” in which right‐wing governments invoke left‐wing ideology to defend policy.

Research limitations/implications

The present analysis emphasises the importance of incorporating the influence of the frames of reference which inform employment and poverty‐reduction policy into explaining approaches to work‐family reconciliation policy in France.

Originality/value

This article represents the first examination of work‐family reconciliation policy in France under President Sarkozy and emphasises the importance of incorporating employment‐related frames of reference in explaining work‐family reconciliation policy in the country.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 32 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2013

Dirk Hofäcker and Stefanie König

This paper aims to investigate the effect of flexible working conditions on work‐family conflict in European countries. Flexible work has increasingly been used by…

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4902

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the effect of flexible working conditions on work‐family conflict in European countries. Flexible work has increasingly been used by employers to adapt to the demands of economic competition, often at the expense of employee's demands. Yet, at the same time, flexible work can provide a means to better combine work and family obligations. The paper seeks to explore which of these effects dominates for different types of flexible employment, paying specific attention to gender‐specific effects.

Design/methodology/approach

For the cross‐national analysis of work‐life‐conflict, the authors employ the latest wave of the European Social Survey (ESS) from 2010, featuring a module on “Family, work and well‐being”. Binomial logistic regression is used to identify determinants of work‐life‐conflict both on the micro‐ and the macro‐level. In addition to looking at flexible work forms as a phenomenon per se, specific attention is given to the experience of different types of employment flexibilization throughout the financial crisis.

Findings

For both genders, irregularity and unpredictability of working hours negatively impact on work‐life conflict beyond the mere amount of working hours. Yet, higher autonomy in choosing one's work time is used very differently: While women tend to use their control over working hours to achieve a better work‐life‐balance, men tend to use these arrangements to increase their work commitment, thereby enhancing their perceived work‐family conflict. The authors argue that this gender‐specific use of flexible work arrangements might still reflect the traditional gender roles and gender‐segregated labour market structures. Adding to previous literature, the authors furthermore demonstrate that gender‐specific differences are also apparent in the effects of the most recent economic crisis.

Originality/value

By examining the effects of various types of flexible employment separately for men and women, the paper contributes to a better understanding of the gender‐specific effects of flexible work arrangements on work‐family‐conflict within European countries. The 5th wave of the ESS furthermore for the first time allows an empirical investigation of the effects of the recent financial crisis on work‐family conflict from a cross‐nationally comparative perspective.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 33 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2013

Abigail Gregory, Susan Milner and Jan Windebank

The purpose of this editorial is to provide an overview of the wider debates concerning the evolution of work‐life balance practice and policy since the onset of the…

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5858

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this editorial is to provide an overview of the wider debates concerning the evolution of work‐life balance practice and policy since the onset of the “Great Recession” of 2008 and to draw out some comparisons of the issues raised by the papers in the special issue by focusing particularly on the example of the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The editorial analyses how the direction and pace of changes in work‐life balance practice and policy varies between different national contexts and welfare regimes and also asks whether, within the same national context, the changes taking place are always consistent.

Findings

The special issue draws together an international overview of work‐life balance measures which focuses particularly on measures for fathers, an EU‐wide analysis of the use of flexible employment and its relationship with work‐family conflict and a number of specific country case studies from Southern Europe where recession has been particularly severe (Spain and Italy) and the Southern hemisphere (Australia) where the recession has been less deep. It finds that economic crisis and austerity have resulted in a variety of labour market changes and policy responses in different national settings, some but not all of which map onto existing welfare regime typologies. The articles raise a wider set of questions about what type of policy best promotes employees' work‐life balance. The editorial argues in favour of legislative support for work‐life balance to help address structural inequalities.

Originality/value

This editorial and special issue is one of the first to review the small but growing literature on the effect of recession on individuals' experience of work‐life balance, organisations' approach to work‐life balance and reconciliation policy since 2008.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 33 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2018

Rosy Musumeci and Arianna Santero

The objective of this chapter is twofold: (1) to analyse meanings and practices regarding the work-family balance of fathers from different social and cultural backgrounds…

Abstract

The objective of this chapter is twofold: (1) to analyse meanings and practices regarding the work-family balance of fathers from different social and cultural backgrounds and (2) to explore how infancy experts and workplace cultures can influence the paid work and childcare reconciliation practices of native and immigrant fathers in Italy, in particular, from the point of view of fathers making the transition to parenthood. Little attention is paid to the role of infancy experts and workplace cultures in shaping fathers’ reconciliation perspectives. Moreover, little research has been dedicated to parenting practices among immigrant families from the fathers’ point of view. We investigate how parenthood is perceived and experienced by native and immigrant fathers, focussing on cultural differences with regard to beliefs about gender roles, children’s needs and childbearing. Our work is based on a qualitative analysis of 61 qualitative interviews with fathers, born in Italy, Romania, Peru and Morocco living in (the north of) Italy, carried out between 2010 and 2015. The results show how both infancy experts and workplace cultures tend to reinforce the widespread hegemonic ideals on ‘good father as provider’ both for natives and for immigrant fathers, despite their different socio-cultural backgrounds.

Details

Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-042-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2018

Krista M. Brumley

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the interplay between fathers’ perceptions of the workplace and how they enact fatherhood. Data were derived from qualitative…

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the interplay between fathers’ perceptions of the workplace and how they enact fatherhood. Data were derived from qualitative in-depth interviews with seven elite, professional fathers employed at multinational manufacturing corporations in Detroit, Michigan. Fathers are highly educated, have a significant income and all but one have wives in the paid labour market. This study shows how the persistence of the ideal worker norm and penalties for using work-family policies (WFP) perpetuate the gendered division of paid and unpaid work. First, fathers who are ideal workers are rewarded; fathers who do not face criticism and obstacles to promotions. Second, management and supervisor’s discretion results in uneven access to WFP, penalizing fathers for asking and preventing most from using them. Third, fathers express desire to be ‘involved’, but their engagement is largely visible fatherhood.

This study extends our theoretical understandings of work, WFP and fatherhood from a distinct departure point – the elite fathers highlighted here have been parenting for at least three years, and live and work in circumstances that seemingly would allow them to disrupt normative expectations of work and family. The United States provides a unique backdrop to examine the navigation of competing work and family demands because reconciliation is largely left to employees and their families. Public and individual company policies are not enough; there must be a corresponding supportive family-friendly culture – supervisor support and penalty-free WFP – to disrupt gendered work and family.

Details

Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-042-6

Keywords

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