Uptake of organisational work–life balance opportunities: the context of support

Gwen Daverth*, Paula Hyde, Catherine Cassell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This research examines the relationship between structural and cultural dimensions affecting managerial decision-making about work–life balance (WLB) opportunities. Through a top-down study of two contrasting Irish organisations, we identify how each of five dimensions of work–life culture: ‘managerial and organisational support’, ‘organisational time expectations’, ‘career consequences’, ‘gendered perception of policy use’ and ‘co-worker support’ are mediated through managers to affect availability and uptake of WLB opportunities and creating gaps between policy and practice. This study demonstrates how marked distinctions between the personal opportunities managers may wish to offer and the discretion available to them arise. Secondly, the concept of organisational work–life culture is advanced by elaborating the ‘context of support’, namely interdependencies between organisational culture and structure that affect the uptake of WLB opportunities. Implications for researchers and practitioners are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1710-1729
Number of pages20
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • HR policies
  • managerial support
  • organisational culture
  • structural arrangements
  • work–life balance


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