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Balancing Work and Family: The Role of High-Commitment Environments


Berg, Peter; Kalleberg, Arne L.; & Appelbaum, Eileen (2003). Balancing Work and Family: The Role of High-Commitment Environments. Industrial Relations, 42(2), 168-188.


Recently, researchers have begun to recognize that the nature of jobs, the workplace environment, and more generally, the culture of the workplace can have a significant impact on the ability of workers to balance their work and family lives. This article examines the effect of high‐performance work practices, job characteristics, and the work environment on workers’ views about whether the company helps them balance work and family. Using data from a survey of workers across three manufacturing industries, we show that a high‐commitment environment—characterized by high‐performance work practices, intrinsically rewarding jobs, and understanding supervisors—positively influences employees’ perceptions that the company is helping them achieve this balance. This article reinforces the view that helping workers balance work and family responsibilities is not just a matter of benefits and formal family‐friendly policies. Rather, it also depends on the characteristics of jobs within the business enterprise.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Industrial Relations


Berg, Peter
Kalleberg, Arne L.
Appelbaum, Eileen