Introduction: What work? What life? What balance? Critical reflections on the work‐life balance debate

Eikhof, D. R. , Warhurst, C. and Haunschild, A. (2007) Introduction: What work? What life? What balance? Critical reflections on the work‐life balance debate. Employee Relations, 29(4), pp. 325-333. (doi: 10.1108/01425450710839452)

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Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this article is to initiate critical reflection on the assumptions and evidence underpinning the work‐life balance debate. Design/methodology/approach The article reviews a range of international literature focused on and related to the work‐life balance debate and issues. Findings In the work‐life balance debate, over‐work is perceived as the problem. Nevertheless, beyond working time and the provision of flexible working practices to enable child care, there is little in the debate abut the need to change work per se. The debate also narrowly perceives “life”, equating it with women's care work, hence the emphasis again of family‐friendly polices. Research limitations/implications The article suggests that reconceptualisation is required in analyses of both work‐life balance and the relationship between work and life. Practical implications The article implies that current work‐life balance policies are myopic in terms of addressing the needs and aspirations of employees. Originality/value The article offers a synthesis of evidence that is wider than that typical in current analyses of work and life.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Eikhof, Professor Doris Ruth
Authors: Eikhof, D. R., Warhurst, C., and Haunschild, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Employee Relations
Publisher:Emerald
ISSN:0142-5455

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