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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences(all)