Thursday, 14 April 2011

International conference: Work-Life: Cross-national Conversations

Numerous appeals for the greater consideration of context in management research have been made. Work-life researchers are well aware of the need to account for national context in particular. National context can be understood from an institutional perspective and/or a cultural perspective. National context notably translates into values and attitudes towards work and life and into public provisions. These values and public provisions may influence individuals’ experiences of work-life fit as well as their expectations towards employers and the State, lay the ground for supervisors’ varying degrees of supportiveness, promote or discourage employers’ work-life initiatives and inform social policy. Additionally, national context matters from an epistemic point of view, since it often influences work-life researchers’ choices of research questions, theoretical frameworks and research designs.

However, little research has thought to use or build frameworks able to “context theorize” work-life issues. Drawing on examples from our research, how can we contribute to narrow the micro-macro gap in work-life research and beyond?

In France, work-family and work-life issues are rapidly picking up. In the past five to ten years, employers, policy makers and scholars have been actively experimenting and learning about making work and life work, in a social and institutional context that is both unique and globalized. The most recent token of this interest is the recruitment by French business schools of several work-life scholars, adding to an already vibrant French community of scholars.

Rouen Business School research group Contemporary P@thways of Career, Life and Learning, in association with the Special Interest Group Diversity and equal opportunity of the French-speaking Academic Association of HRM, will be holding an international conference in Paris, with two primary objectives:

1. To bridge academic communities researching work-life in different countries and from different disciplines such as organizational behavior and management, industrial psychology, industrial relations and sociology, so as to broaden our perspectives and hopefully facilitate future collaborations.

2. To reflect on the role that national context plays in work-life research, both for the production of research itself (influence of national context on researchers’ approaches) and on the phenomena we are studying (at the individual, organizational and social policy levels).

Date: 17/05/2011

Location: Paris

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