Work-family conflict

Work-family conflict

Work-family conflict is “a form of interrole conflict in which the role pressures from the work and family domains are mutually incompatible in some respect. That is participation in the work (family) role is made more difficult by virtue of participation in the family (work) role” ( [ Greenhaus] & [ Beutell] , 1985, p.77). Conflict between work and family is important for organizations and individuals because it is linked to negative consequences. For example, conflict between work and family is associated with increased absenteeism, increased turnover, decreased performance, and poorer physical and mental health...

Conceptually conflict between work and family is bi-directional. Most researchers make the distinction between what is termed work-family conflict, and what is termed family-work conflict. Work-to-family conflict occurs when experiences at work interfere with family life like extensive, irregular, or inflexible work hours, work overload and other forms of job stress, interpersonal conflict at work, extensive travel, career transitions, unsupportive supervisor or organization. For example, an unexpected meeting late in the day may prevent a parent from picking up his or her child from school. Family-to-work conflict occurs when experiences in the family interfere with work life like presence of young children, primary responsibility for children, elder care responsibilities, interpersonal conflict within the family unit, unsupportive family members. For example, a parent may take time off from work in order to take care of a sick child. Although these two forms of conflict-work interference with family (WIF) and family interference with work (FIW) are strongly correlated with each other, more attention has been directed at WIF more than FIW. This may because work demands are easier to quantify; that is, the boundaries and responsibilities of the family role is more elastic than the boundaries and responsibilities of the work role. Also, research has found that work roles are more likely to interfere with family roles than family roles are likely to interfere with work roles.

Theories related to work-family conflict

Several theories have been invoked in the study of work-family conflict. Most of the studies focused on three competing theories to explain the interplay between work role and family role: spillover, compensation, and segmentation.


This theory focuses on the impact that satisfaction and affect from one domain has on the other domain. Positive spillover refers to situations in which the satisfaction, energy, and sense of accomplishment derived from one domain transfers to another. On the contrary, negative spillover is the derived problems being carried over from one domain to another. For example, increased satisfaction (dissatisfaction) in the work domain leads to increased satisfaction (dissatisfaction) with life.


It is a bidirectional theory stating that the relationship between work and non-work domain is one in which one domain may compensate for what is missing in the other. Thus, domains are likely to be interrelated in a counterbalancing manner. For example individuals unsatisfied with family life may try to enhance performance at work.

Segmentation Segmentation is a theory that each domain operates independently, such that satisfaction can be derived from work, family, or both. Therefore, segmentation is the antithesis of spillover theory in which it is assumed that one can compartmentalize competing role demands.

See also

* Work-family enrichment
* Balanced parenting
* Family and Medical Leave Act


1. Frone, M. R., Yardley, J. K., & Markel, K. S. (1997). Developing and testing an integrative model of the work–family interface. "Journal of Vocational Behavior", 50, 145–167.

2. Greenhaus, J. H., & Beutell, N. J. (1985). Sources of conflict between work and family roles. "Academy of Management Review", 10, 76–88.

3. Kossek, E. E., & Ozeki, C. (1998). Work–family conflict, policies, and the job–life satisfaction relationship: A review and directions for organizational behavior–human resources research. "Journal of Applied Psychology", 83, 139–149.

4. Lambert, S. J. (1990). Processes linking work and family: A critical review and research agenda. "Human Relations", 43, 239-257."

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Work-family enrichment — or work family facilitation refers to a process whereby experience or participation in one role increases the quality or performance in the other role.Enrichment of facilitation can occur when involvement in one role leads to benefits, resources …   Wikipedia

  • work-family — UK US adjective [before noun] HR, WORKPLACE ► used to describe the relationship between someone s work and their family life, for example, whether employees are able to spend enough time with their families: work family policies/programs/issues… …   Financial and business terms

  • Family therapy — Intervention ICD 9 CM 94.42 MeSH …   Wikipedia

  • Conflict tactics scale — The conflict tactics scale (CTS), created by Murray A. Straus in 1979,[1] is the most widely used research method for identifying intimate partner violence. There are two versions of the CTS, the CTS2 and CTSPC.[2][3][4] As of 2005,[5] the CTS… …   Wikipedia

  • Work-life balance — The expression work life balance was first used in the late 1970s to describe the balance between an individual s work and personal life. (New Ways to Work and the Working Mother s Association in the United Kingdom). In the United States, this… …   Wikipedia

  • work-life overload — n. An excessive burden caused by the combined responsibilities of a person s work and personal life. Example Citations: In theory, flextime seems like an everyone wins proposition. But one person s work life balance can be another s work life… …   New words

  • Work-Life-Balance — Der Begriff Work Life Balance steht für einen Zustand, in dem Arbeit und Privatleben miteinander in Einklang stehen. Die Begriffsbildung Work Life Balance stammt aus dem Englischen: Arbeit (work), Leben (life), Gleichgewicht (balance). Kritisch… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Counterproductive work behavior — (CWB) is employee behavior that goes against the goals of an organization.[1] These behaviors can be intentional or unintentional and result from a wide range of underlying causes and motivations. It has been proposed that a person by environment …   Wikipedia

  • Conflict Resolution (The Office) — Conflict Resolution The Office episode Michael attempts to better perform Conflict Resolution than Toby …   Wikipedia

  • Conflict (1945 film) — Conflict Theatrical release poster Directed by Curtis Bernhardt Produced by …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”