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date: 28 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews comparative research regarding individuals’ work–life experiences. It summarizes current knowledge on how culture (e.g., individualism/collectivism, gender egalitarianism, humane orientation), institutions (e.g., public policy and provisions, family structures), and the economy (e.g., stage of development, unemployment rates) at the country level impact work–life conflict (WLC), work–life enrichment, work–life balance, and boundary management. More research has focused on cultural than on institutional or economic factors, and only WLC has been truly investigated empirically. Studies show that (1) work and family demands, respectively, are associated with greater work-to-family and family-to-work conflict in individualistic than in collectivistic cultures; (2) in less egalitarian cultures, women experience greater family-to-work conflict and lower work-to-family conflict than do men; (3) there are fewer differences between WLC perceived by men and WLC perceived by women in more egalitarian cultures; (4) except for sick leave regulations, public policies alone seem to have little alleviating effect on WLC; and (5) family structures and domestic help are associated with WLC.

Keywords: work–family, work–life conflict, work–life enrichment, work–life balance, boundary management, cross-national, comparative, national context, culture, institutions, economy

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