chapter  29
16 Pages

The Business Case: Managerial Perspectives on Work and the Family

In this chapter, we discuss the different management approaches used by employers for framing, adopting, and managing work and family policies in organizations and by researchers examining work-family issues. The field of management focuses on ensuring that when workers come together in an enterprise, they are organized with the dual goals of achieving effectiveness in accomplishing the organizational mission and efficiency in motivating employees to work toward maximizing productivity (Stroh, Northcraft, & Neale, 2002). Management tends to take a rational and prescriptive perspective and assurnes there is an optimal way to organize a firm and its workforce depending on the organization's strategy, culture, power and resources, and external environment. The field of management is c10sely aligned with organizational behavior, which is multi-disciplinary, drawing from many fields in the social sciences, and seeks to understand behavior in organizations by examining individual, group, organizational, and interorganizational dynamics (Miner, 2002). It is relatively recently that work and family issues have been viewed as a mainstream and core management concern. As managers have become more cognizant of the importance of work and family issues to efficiency and effectiveness, the management field is gradually moving in practice toward recognition that like other business issues, work and family problems must be analyzed in the context of organizational behavior.