What Do People Do to Achieve Work–Life Balance? A Formative Conceptualization to Help Develop a Metric for Large-Scale Quality-of-Life Surveys

Dong Jin Lee, M. Joseph Sirgy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The goal in this paper is to build a theoretical foundation for a new formative measure of work–life balance. The current indicators of work–life balance used in large-scale social surveys are outcome-based measures. We critique the use of outcome-based measures of work–life balance and argue that a more suitable measure should reflect personal strategies people use to foster work–life balance. As such, we propose a formative conceptualization of work–life balance composed of a set of inter-life domain strategies theorized to increase overall life satisfaction. Specifically, work–life balance is conceptualized as a higher-order construct composed of four behavior-based life domain strategies and four cognition-based life domain strategies. The behavior-based strategies are (1) role engagement in multiple domains, (2) role enrichment, (3) domain compensation, and (4) role conflict management. The cognition-based strategies are: (1) positive spillover, (2) segmentation, (3) value compensation, and (4) whole-life perspective. The effects of these behavior- and cognition-based strategies on overall life satisfaction are explained through a set of theoretical principles. Research and policy implications are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-791
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Volume138
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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