Policy Press

Work, families and organisations in transition

European perspectives

Edited by Suzan Lewis, Julia Brannen and Ann Nilsen


Jul 22, 2009

Page count

224 pages




240 x 172 mm


Policy Press
Work, families and organisations in transition

Across Europe the importance of reconciling paid work and family life is increasingly recognised by a range of diverse government regulations and organisational initiatives. At the same time, employing organisations and the nature of work are undergoing massive and rapid changes, in the context of global competition, efficiency drives, as well as social and economic transformations in emerging economies. 

"Work, families and organisations in transition" illustrates how workplace practices and policies impact on employees' experiences of "work-life balance" in contemporary shifting contexts. Based upon cross-national case studies of public and private sector workplaces carried out in Bulgaria, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK, this innovative book demonstrates the challenges that parents face as they seek to negotiate work and family boundaries. The case studies demonstrate that employed parents' needs and experiences depend on many layers of context - global, European, national, workplace and family.

This book will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students of organisational psychology, sociology, management and business studies, human resource management, social policy, as well as employers, managers, trade unions and policy makers.

'The book tackles important contemporary themes, and

by placing the issues faced by working parents in the wider context of organisational

change and national policy frameworks, it allows for the findings to be interpreted

in a more holistic sense.' Clare Kelliher, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University

"This thought provoking book raises compelling questions about how contemporary ways of working can become compatible with socially sustainable workplaces, families and communities." Rhona Rapoport, Former Director of the Institute of Family and Environmental Research

Suzan Lewis is Professor of Organisational Psychology in the Department of Human Resource Management at Middlesex University Business School. She has extensive research experience on work-personal life issues and workplace practice, culture and change in different workplace and social policy contexts. She is a founding editor of the international journal "Community, Work and Family".

Julia Brannen is professor of sociology of the family at Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. Her research has focussed on gender, health, work-family life, parents, intergenerational relations, young people and children in families. She has a special interest in methodology, in particular mixed methods, and co-founded and coedits the "International Journal of Social Research Methodology".

Ann Nilsen is professor of sociology at the Department of Sociology, University of Bergen, Norway. Her extensive research experience is in areas of life course methodology including biographical studies, transitions in the life course and work family issues. 

Contents: Work, family and organisations in transition: setting the context ~ Suzan Lewis, Julia Brannen and Ann Nilsen; Research design and methods: Doing comparative cross-national research ~ Julia Brannen, Ann Nilsen and Suzan Lewis; PART ONE: PUBLIC SECTOR ORGANISATIONS: Working parenthood in a social services context: A UK case ~ Julia Brannen; Social service as human service: between loyalties; a Swedish case ~ Lars Plantin and Margareta Bäck-Wiklund; Organisational social capital and its role in the support of working parents: the case of a public social assistance agency in Bulgaria ~ Siyka Kovacheva; PART TWO: PRIVATE SECTOR ORGANISATIONS: Old rights in new times: the experiences of parents in a Slovenian organisation ~ Nevenka Cernigoj Sadar; Work-life initiatives and organisational change in a UK private sector company: a transformational approach? ~ Suzan Lewis and Janet Smithson; Work-family policies in a contradictory culture: A Dutch financial sector corporation ~ Bram Peper, Laura den Dulk and Anneke van Doorne-Huiskes; PART THREE: COMPARISONS: Parents and organisational change: a cross-sector comparison of two Norwegian organisations ~ Ann Nilsen, Sevil Sümer and Lise Granlund; Changing contexts, enduring roles? Working parents in Portuguese public and private sector organisations ~ Maria das Dores Guerreiro, Pedro Abrantes and Inês Pereira; Comparing flexible working arrangements across organisational contexts ~ Ann Nilsen, Suzan Lewis and Julia Brannen; In conclusion ~ Julia Brannen, Suzan Lewis and Ann Nilsen

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