Case Studies in Work-Family Research
Although the field of work-family research is characterized by bringing together research on workplaces, families, communities, and other institutions and recognizing the interdependence of these domains, a focus on understanding organizations and organizational processes provides one important perspective contributing to this bigger picture. The in-depth study of organizations helps us to understand and explain workplace structures, working practices, and cultures that can make it difficult for employees to integrate paid work and personaliife. lt also helps to identify and evaluate change initiatives and to understand resistance and baITiers to changes to support people in combining work and nonwork roles. In this chapter, we first disCllss the case study approach in general and then provide some examples of the ways in which organizational case studies have been used in the study of organizational responses to work-personal life issues. We then consider some practical issues in caITying out case study research, drawing primarily on an ongoing international study involving case studies in private and public sector organizations in seven European countries.