New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
23 Work–family conﬂict and stress Paula Brough and Michael O’Driscoll Introduction Over the past twenty years, increasing attention has been paid by researchers and organizations to the interface between people’s work and their family lives. In 1977, Rosabeth Kanter argued that the notion that work and life oﬀ the job are separate worlds is a ‘myth’. Since then there has been a growing volume of research on the interaction between job or work demands and experiences and family life. The burgeoning literature on this topic can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including changing family structures, with a signiﬁcant increase in the number of dual-earner families and single-parent families; changing family orientations, with many couples now delaying the onset of children and also reducing the overall number of children; increasing participation of women in the workforce, to the point where in many Western countries, in particular, employed women now outnumber their male colleagues; and ﬁnally, a greater desire to achieve some kind of ‘balance’ between work and family responsibilities, to enhance both individual and family well-being. In addition to the above trends, other developments within industry and society more generally have also contributed to a sharper focus on the implications of work and employment for family life. In particular, technological developments over the past decade or so (such as laptop computers and mobile phones) have enabled work to be conducted more ﬂexibly in terms of both space and time, which in turn has led to a...
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