Work-family boundary strategies: Stability and alignment between preferred and enacted boundaries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Are individuals bounding work and family the way they would like? Much of the work-family boundary literature focuses on whether employees are segmenting or integrating work with family, but does not explore the boundaries workers would like to have, nor does it examine the fit between desired and enacted boundaries, or assess boundary stability. In this study, 23 respondents employed at a large Fortune 500 company were interviewed about their work-family boundaries before and after their teams underwent a cultural change initiative that sought to loosen workplace norms and allow employees more autonomy to decide when and where they performed their job tasks. Four distinct boundary strategies emerged from the data, with men and parents of young children having better alignment between preferred and enacted boundaries than women and those without these caregiving duties. Implications for boundary theory and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Volume82
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

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Keywords

  • Boundary management
  • Boundary theory
  • Work and family
  • Work-family interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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