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Achieving work life balance

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Product Description

By Thomas Kalliath, Paula Brough

Published: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-9775242-2-8
Pages: ii+108
Imprint: eContent Management


Guest Editors

Thomas Kalliath
School of Management, Marketing and International Business
Australian National University, Canberra ACT, Australia

Paula Brough
School of Psychology, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt QLD, Australia

Work-family balance is emerging as a key strategic element in the human resource management (HRM) policies of successful organisations for attracting and retaining talented staff and for demonstrating the bottom-line impact of HRM programs for work-family balance, addressing gender imbalance and emerging skills shortages.

Organisational stakeholders are increasingly interested in introducing work-family balance policies in their organisations. Evidence now links work-family imbalance to reduced health and well-being among individuals and families. Family-friendly policies in the workplace are linked to improved organisational outcomes in employee turnover and organisational citizenship behaviour. Work-family balance has become an important part of developing of new HRM policies, programs, or systems.

Opening the issue, Professor Steven AY Poelmans (IESE Business School, Barcelona) is asked:

  • What is the definition of work-life balance? For whom? How is it measured?
  • How important is the development of a direct measure of work-life balance that is responsive to (a) within organisational changes in employee perceptions of work-life balance; and (b) cross-organisational benchmarking of work-life balance?
  • Is work-life balance just the latest 'fad' of human resource policies? Is work-life balance actually a realistic goal that can be achieved?
  • Do we have evidence that organisations that are more family friendly attract and retain more talented employees?
  • What are some difficulties experienced in using Family Responsible Employer Index (FREI) developed by the International Centre for Work and Family (ICWF) for cross-organisational benchmarking of work-life balance?
  • How do you assess employees' perceptions of balance?
  • Which of these initiatives have been most productive in helping organisations to create family-responsible environment?
  • What is the current state of theory development in work-family balance arena?
  • Is top management commitment to culture change a pre-requisite for achieving sustainable work-life balance?
  • What is the role of family-supportive programs in an environment of ever increasing competition?
  • Is there a convincing business case for introducing work-life balance in organisations? Are organisations that provide for greater work-life balance for its employees more productive and more profitable in the long-run?
  • What are the most important things that organisations (CEOs, HR managers) need to do to ensure that a change program introducing work-life balance in their organisations succeeds?

The research presented in six articles in this special issue of the Journal of Management and Organisation (ISBN 978-0-9775242-2-8) contributes useful information to both practitioners engaged in implementing work-family balance initiatives and to work-family balance researchers engaged in extending the frontiers of knowledge within this dynamic topic.

Table of Contents

EDITORIAL - Achieving work-life balance - Thomas Kalliath and Paula Brough

EXPERT COMMENTARY - Achieving work-life balance: current theoretical and practice issues - Steven AY Poelmans in conversation with Thomas Kalliath 

and Paula Brough

Bridging the research-practice gap: Developing a measurement framework for work-life initiatives - E Anne Bardoel, Helen De Cieri and Susan Mayson

Work and family policy: Spoilt for choice or spoilt by choice? - Tanya Bretherton

Work-life balance or work-life alignment? A test of the importance of work-life balance for employee engagement and intention to stay in organisations - Louise P Parkes and Peter H Langford

Is entrepreneurship the answer to achieving work-family balance? - Jodyanne Kirkwood and Beth Tootell

Influences on the provision of work-life benefits: Management and employee perspectives - Jacqui Abbott and Helen De Cieri

Work-life balance: A review of the meaning of the balance construct - Thomas Kalliath and Paula Brough

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