Organizational Work-Life initiatives: Context matters.

Abstract : Why are organizational work-life initiatives endorsed in some countries such as the US or the UK, while they generate little interest in France and other non-Anglo-Saxon environments? In a qualitative theory-building approach, this paper assesses the gap in workplace practices adoption among the US, the UK, and France and analyzes in-depth interviews with 44 human resources (HR) officers, employee representatives, unions, and work-life service providers in France. Five main factors explain the adoption of organizational work-life initiatives in France and potentially other countries: (1) employer versus State legitimacy in the nonwork sphere of life, (2) industrial relations and unions' stance toward work-life practices, (3) the complexity of the legal framework, (4) the awareness of work-life issues within HR departments, and (5) the framing of work-life as a business or a social issue. With reference to prior research, a model is built to account for the influence of the national context on employees' expectations and employers' leeway at the macrolevel, and for strategic choices made by employers at the mesolevel.
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Ariane Ollier-Malaterre. Organizational Work-Life initiatives: Context matters.. Community, Work and Family, Special Issue Community and Work-Life Issues in a Global Context: New Perspectives in a Changing World, 2009, vol. 12, n° 2, pp.159-178. ⟨10.1080/13668800902778942⟩. ⟨hal-00565488⟩

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