Business and Management Gender Studies work-life balance
Who's Minding the Kids? Work and Family Issues among Owners of Small Business Enterprises in Ireland, Cary Cooper and Ron Burke, Human Resource Management in Small Businesses: Achieving Peak Performance, Cheltenham, UK. Northampton, MA, USA, Edward Elgar, 2011, 236 - 258, Eileen Drew and Anne Laure Humbert
This chapter addresses the largely under-researched
theme of how entrepreneurs
in Ireland manage their business lives in parallel with their family
commitments, with specific reference to dependent children. Since the
emergence of dual-earner
couples as “typical”, there has been an expanding
attention to the working lives of parents and the issue of work–family
conflict in the context of employment. This strand of literature sought to
explain patterns of working, for example, sector of employment, hours of
work and flexibility, in terms of highly gendered preferences. The discourse
has moved from woman/mother/family-friendly
to more gender-neutral
work–life balance (WLB), in tracking the responses of organizations to
the needs of their employees, in the broader context of ability to provide
family care. Some research examined both sides of the “reconciliation”
divide by surveying the needs of employers and employees (Drew et al.,
2003; O’Brien & Shemilt, 2003). These and subsequent studies noted that
even in organizations with well-developed
policies in place, take-up
WLB arrangements was highly gendered and associated with lower-level
occupations (clerical/administrative). It has been further observed that,
in an Irish context, managers fail to lead by example (Drew & Murtagh,
2005) and often adopt a gatekeeping role in the practice and availability of
WLB arrangements for themselves and their staff (Drew & Daverth, 2009).
With the growth of smaller enterprises a gap is evident in our knowledge of
how entrepreneurs behave in their unique multi-functional
roles (as owner
employer/employee), particularly when they become parents.
PUBLISHED Cheltenham, UK. Northampton, MA, USA Series: New Horizons in Management
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