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Work-Life Advantage: Sustaining Regional Learning and Innovation

Work-Life Advantage: Sustaining Regional Learning and Innovation

Al James

ISBN: 978-1-118-94484-4 December 2017 Wiley-Blackwell 248 Pages


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Work-Life Advantage analyses how employer-provision of ‘family-friendly’ working arrangements - designed to help workers better reconcile work, home and family - can also enhance firms’ capacities for learning and innovation, in pursuit of long-term competitive advantage and socially inclusive growth. 

  • Brings together major debates in labour geography, feminist geography, and regional learning in novel ways, through a focus on the shifting boundaries between work, home, and family
  • Addresses a major gap in the scholarly research surrounding the narrow ‘business case’ for work-life balance by developing a more socially progressive, workerist ‘dual agenda’
  • Challenges and disrupts masculinist assumptions of the “ideal worker” and the associated labour market marginalization of workers with significant home and family commitments
  • Based on 10 years of research with over 300 IT workers and 150 IT firms in the UK and Ireland, with important insights for professional workers and knowledge-intensive companies around the world

List of Figures viii

List of Tables ix

Series Editor’s Preface xi

Preface and Acknowledgements xii

List of Abbreviations xv

1 Inclusive Regional Learning? 1

2 Recentering Regional Learning: Beyond Masculinist Geographies of Regional Advantage 16

3 Work]Life Balance and its Uncertain ‘Business Case’ 38

4 Researching Labour Geographies of Work-Life and Learning in Ireland and the UK 67

5 Juggling Work, Home and Family in the Knowledge Economy 86

6 Overcoming Work-Life Conflict and the Gendered Limits to Learning and Innovation? 117

7 Work-Life Balance, Cross-Firm Worker Mobility and Gendered Knowledge Spillovers 145

8 Conclusions: Gendered Regional Learning and Work-Life Advantage 176

References 197

Index 226