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Beyond Work-Family Balance: Advancing Gender Equity and Workplace Performance

Beyond Work-Family Balance: Advancing Gender Equity and Workplace Performance

Rhona Rapoport, Lotte Bailyn, Joyce K. Fletcher, Bettye H. Pruitt

ISBN: 978-0-787-95730-8

Dec 2001, Jossey-Bass

272 pages

Select type: Hardcover

In Stock



Everyone who struggles to meet the demands of work and personal-life responsibilities knows how tough it is to do so. This bold new book shows that it is the deeply engrained separation of work and personal life that has limited our ability to deal effectively with the conflict between them. Beyond Work-Family Balance demonstrates why the image of ""balance"" is outmoded and why a new approach -- work-personal life integration -- offers greater promise for meaningful change.

Providing many examples from action research projects in more than a dozen organizations of different kinds, the authors show how using their method of integrating rather than separating personal-life considerations from the workplace can achieve positive outcomes, not only for workers but also for the work. The method offers a way of looking deeply into the work culture to find inequitable and ineffective work practices that are so embedded and routine that no one thinks to question them -- they are just the way things get done. Once identified, these work practices can be changed to achieve what the authors call a Dual Agenda: a more equitable workplace where both men and women can achieve their full potential and a more effective workplace where the needs of the work, rather than gendered and outmoded assumptions, determine what gets done and how.

The Authors.

Chapter 1. Introduction: The Equity Imperative.

Part 1: Context and Concepts.

Chapter 2. Pursuing Equity in Gendered Organizations.

Chapter 3. Linking Equity and Organizational Effectiveness:The Dual Agenda.

Part 2: Collaborative Interactive Action Research (CIAR).

Chapter 4. Pursuing the Dual Agenda with CIAR.

Chapter 5. Making Change.

Chapter 6. Walking the Talk: Reflections from the CIARTeam.

Part 3: Looking Ahead.

Chapter 7. Sustaining and Diffusing Equitable Change.

Chapter 8. Looking Ahead to an Equitable World.

Appendix: The Book in Context.


Published Reports of Dual Agenda Experimentsand Additional References.

A welcome contribution to theory and practice, this volume describes aprogram developed by the authors (academics and professionals experienced in the work/family and organizational behavior fields) to create a more equitable and satisfying workplace. Their program is different in that it attempts to tie together two organizational goals usually tackled separately: improving the bottom line and improving employees' ability to manage their work and personal lives. The authors' underlying beliefs that work and family life should be integrated and that when it is, gender and diversity issues will be addressed and employees will be more effective contributors to their organizations. When it is not integrated, management often experiences costs without productivity gains, while employees often feel work/family initiatives have not been successful. The authors detail actions taken in several consulting assignments with various companies, sharing surveys and meeting agendas. They describe a process that includes many discussions, frequent feedback, and reevaluation. Problems andfailures as well as successes are reported. Clients are assisted inunderstanding assumptions associated with work needs, personal requirements, communication methods, outcome measurements, and rewards. The ideas presented in this volume are provocative and the suggestions realistically appraised. Recommended for graduate, research, and professional collections.
-- F. Reitman, Pace University