Work and Family—Allies or Enemies?What Happens When Business Professionals Confront Life Choices

Work and Family—Allies or Enemies?What Happens When Business Professionals Confront Life Choices

Stewart D. Friedman and Jeffrey H. Greenhaus

Print publication date: 2011

ISBN: 9780195112757

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

We've come a long way since the book The Organization Man first introduced the “ideal” two-person career: a full-time male breadwinner and a stay-at-home wife. What typified the '50s good life is in stark contrast to contemporary reality: in the USA 63% of all married women with children under six years old are in the workforce and 40% of all workers are part of a dual-earner couple. This book offers a new lens for viewing the real struggles that business professionals — particularly women — face in their daily battle to find ways of “getting a life” and “having it all.” Based on a study that surveyed more than 800 business professionals, this volume will help readers understand and deal with the effects of gender, professional culture, and social expectations, on the evolving roles of men and women in crafting an integrated life. In this look at how work and family affect the lives of men and women trying to manage the complexities of modern living, the authors argue that it is critical to learn how to manage the boundaries between work and family, to handle ambiguity, to manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and to build networks of support at work and in the community. The book offers a prescription for success that requires that all parties — individuals, employers, and society — clarify what is important, recognize and support the whole person, and continually experiment with new ways to achieve meaningful goals.