Handbook of Work–Life Integration Among Professionals
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Handbook of Work–Life Integration Among Professionals

Challenges and Opportunities

Edited by Debra A. Major and Ronald J. Burke

How work and family lives can be effectively managed has been a hot topic of public debate in recent years. This Handbook integrates current thinking and research evidence regarding how professionals navigate multiple life roles to achieve satisfaction and fulfillment.
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Chapter 15: Organizational policies supportive of work–life integration

Leslie B. Hammer, Sarah E. Van Dyck and Allison M. Ellis


Changes over the past 30 years in the relationship between work and family domains include, but are not limited to, the increasing percentage of families supported by dual incomes, growing numbers of single parents in the workforce, and greater gender integration into organizations (e.g., Hammer and Zimmerman, 2011). With these demographic and labor market changes has been a corresponding trend toward greater organizational adoption of work–life integration policies. In particular, US industry-based policies and supports for families developed in response to low unemployment in the 1980s and 1990s (Goodstein, 1994) have fueled the competition for high-quality workers, despite a lack of national leadership in the provision of federal supports for working families (Hammer et al., 2006). In fact, while the US has been repeatedly criticized for a failure to provide family supports at the national level compared to all other industrialized nations, US workplaces have been touted as being some of the best across the globe in the provision of work–life integration policies (Hammer et al., 2006; Kelly, 2006).

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