Investigating work-family policy aims and employee experiences
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McDonald, P and Guthrie, D and Bradley, L and Shakespeare-Finch, JE, Investigating work-family policy aims and employee experiences, Employee Relations, 27, (5) pp. 478-494. ISSN 0142-5455 (2005) [Refereed Article]
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Copyright 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Purpose - This study seeks systematically to investigate the extent to which the documented aims of formal work-family policies are being achieved at the level of individual employees. Design/methodology/approach - Consistency between policy and practice in the case study organization was explored via an analysis of organizational documents which described work-family policies and 20 interviews with employed women with dependent children. Findings - Results show that the use of flexible work arrangements was consistent with aims related to balance and productivity. However, women's experiences and perceptions of part-time employment conflicted with policies aiming to support the same career opportunities as full-time employees. Research limitations/implications - The nature of the organization and its policies as well as certain characteristics of the sample may limit the generalizability of findings to other sectors and groups of employees. Practical implications - The research highlights the need to assess whether work-family policies are experienced as intended, a process which may contribute to future policy development and assist human resource specialists to promote genuine balance between work and non-work responsibilities. Originality/value - The results inform the current understanding of how organizational policy translates into practice. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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