The aim of this chapter is to provide evidence for a cultural theory of work and family interference (WFI) using findings from recent studies conducted in Taiwan. I propose that ‘culture’ plays a critical part in constructing people’s conceptions of work and family, guiding their lived experiences in both domains, and shaping the underlying mechanisms of the work and family interface. I will review empirical evidence derived from qualitative and quantitative, cross-sectional and longitudinal, monocultural and cross-cultural studies to support the above cultural theory of work and family. Such evidence illustrates both similarities and differences in the WFI experiences between Taiwan Chinese and their Western counterparts. I argue that we need to sharpen the cultural thrust to understand the dynamism of work and family across diverse cultural contexts, the Chinese Confucian tradition in particular, culturally and economically. I argue too that we need to tie empirical research to organizational stress management interventions to cope with WFI.
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.