Table of Contents

Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers

Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers

Individual Wellbeing and Career Experiences

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Kathryn M. Page and Cary Cooper

Happiness in one aspect of our life can positively impact upon our satisfaction within other domains of our life. The opposite also rings true. Today’s generation of working people have often been called the generation who want it all. But can we really have it all? And at what cost to our and others’ happiness? Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers explores ways in which contemporary working people can thrive in a complex, volatile and uncertain world. Combining both research and practice, the contributors of this book cover all bases from individual wellbeing, family, work and career experiences, to leadership. They conclude by providing the reader with tools to combine what they have learnt and apply it to their own lives.

Chapter 18: Integrating work and personal life

Paula Brough and Michael P. O’Driscoll

Subjects: business and management, gender and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, social policy and sociology, family and gender policy


The interconnection between people’s experiences at work and in their family lives has been the topic of considerable research over the past 30 years, as well as receiving much attention from the popular press and the media, amid growing concerns about the encroachment of work demands into people’s family and personal lives. There has also been much debate about the meaning of terms such as ‘work–life balance’ and ‘work–family integration’ and how these might play out for individuals, couples and families. The interface between work and other aspects of life is increasingly recognized as an important issue, and has captured the attention of researchers in organizational behaviour and industrial/organizational psychology. In this chapter we explore some critical issues that relate to this nexus. In particular, we discuss two major constructs: work–family conflict (or interference) and work–family facilitation (or enrichment), which have been the subject of numerous research endeavours. Much of this research can be traced back to the seminal work of Greenhaus and Beutell (1985), who offered a conceptual definition of the term ‘conflict’ as it applies to the work–family nexus, a definition that set the scene for over 30 years of research in this field. More recently, and in part due to the rising influence of the positive organizational behaviour and positive psychology movement, increasing research attention has also been given to the other side of the coin, referred to as either ‘enrichment’ or ‘facilitation’.

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