Work-family conflict, enrichment, and balance under "levels" and "episodes" approaches

Academic Article


  • In this review, the authors differentiate work-family (WF) research that conceptualizes and measures conflict as a consolidated level versus as a conflict event or episode. They critique the "levels" literature in the areas of conflict, enrichment, and balance. They next review the WF "episodes" literature for the first time. They then introduce a framework that clarifies definitional inconsistencies and integrates the key constructs in the WF literature in a new way. This framework proposes that an employee's mental conceptualizations relevant to WF roles can be discrepant with actual role enactment or with another mental conceptualization. These discrepancies form one's level of WF balance or imbalance. The authors recommend that researchers adopt WF balance as the central levels construct, which changes primarily through the occurrence of WF conflict episodes and WF enrichment episodes. They finally discuss research and practical implications of this framework. © The Author(s) 2011.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Maertz CP; Boyar SL
  • Start Page

  • 68
  • End Page

  • 98
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 1