Browsing School of Social Work by Title "Navigating Family-Friendly Workplace Policies: Multiple-Case Study of Fathers in Dual-Career Families"
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Navigating Family-Friendly Workplace Policies: Multiple-Case Study of Fathers in Dual-Career FamiliesThe growth in dual income households has risen steadily since the 1950s as we see both men and women continue to enter the job market. This trend has created a significant shift in how roles and duties have been shared within the home. Over the last 40 years, this notable change (the dual-earner couples) in the family structure and the U.S. workforce has progressively focused attention on the need for workplace policies to assist employees in balancing work and family life. Making workplaces more family-friendly has potential benefits for both employees and employers, but research findings are mixed about the take-up rate of such benefits and the outcomes for improving work-family balance (Baxter & Chesters, 2011). There is a new generation of fathers who are more involved, more nurturing, and more present in their children’s lives (Burnett, Gatrell, Cooper, & Sparrow, 2011; Gregory & Milner, 2011a). This qualitative study explored how access to and use of family-friendly workplace policies influence the work-family enrichment of fathers within dual-career families. Using a multiple-case study research design this study collected data through semi-structured interviews, field notes and company records pertaining to fathers in dual-career families working full-time in family friendly firms. The data analysis revealed several themes regarding the work-family interface of working fathers. These themes included: (a) Fathers in the workplace, (b) Family involvement, (c) Managing dual roles, and (d) Need for support. The insight gathered from this study not only adds to previous research on work-family enrichment, but it substantiates the need for continued support for work-life integration in organizations, as much more is desired to meet the unique challenges of working parents, including fathers.