Individual Wellbeing and Career Experiences
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Kathryn M. Page and Cary Cooper
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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