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Connecting work -family policies to supportive work environments

Purdue University
Publication Date
  • Business Administration
  • Management|Sociology
  • Individual And Family Studies


This research provides a theory-driven approach to study the relationship between work-family policies and employee outcomes such as organizational commitment, overall well-being, and turnover. Perceived organizational support is suggested as a mediating variable of this relationship. Furthermore, family characteristics that potentially affect work-family conflict, actual work-family conflict, and specific organization characteristics are investigated as moderators. Previous research has addressed both work-family policies and supportive work environments with their corresponding outcomes; however, it has failed to integrate both streams of research. This apparent gap may have obscured an important link between work-family policies and positive employee outcomes that is now examined. Drawing from legitimacy theory, I test the idea that individuals perceive organizational actions through a legitimacy lens. The micro processes are revealed when employees form perceptual links between the presence of work-family policies and the organization providing a supportive work environment. Moreover, the favorable perceptions formed will likely result in positive employee outcomes such as increased organizational commitment and overall well-being, and decreased turnover. Furthermore, I argue the relationship between work-family policies and supportive work environments is more likely under certain family and organization characteristics, even in the absence of actual work-family conflict. ^

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