Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Work–Life Balance in Asia

Handbook of Research on Work–Life Balance in Asia

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Luo Lu and Cary Cooper

In Asian societies, work and family issues are only recently beginning to gain attention. The pressure of rapid social change and increasing global competition is compounded by the long hours work culture, especially in the Pan-Confucian societies such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. Furthermore, with the rising female labor participation, more and more Asian employees are now caught between the demands of work and family life.

Chapter 15: Cross-cultural impact of work–life balance on health and work outcomes

Carolyn Timms, Paula Brough, Oi-Ling Siu, Michael O’Driscoll and Thomas Kalliath

Subjects: asian studies, asian business, business and management, asia business, human resource management, organisational behaviour


In this chapter we describe some of our recent work–life balance research conducted between regional groups within the Asia-Pacific area. The research component of this chapter explores the applicability, testing and extension of theories of organizational behaviour from Western to non-Western contexts. More specifically, we explore the relevance of the work–life balance construct to workers and societies who may have different competing priorities. In this chapter we first discuss the numerous definitions and measures of the work–life balance construct. We present data from some of our recent research testing a new measure of work–life balance amongst 11 421 workers sampled from China, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia. We then discuss the rise of industry and rapid social change in China, which may influence interpretations of work behaviour. Finally, we return to a more general examination of key issues in regard to modern technology and its potential for encroachment on work–life boundaries. In particular we examine the emerging cross-cultural research in this area.

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