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Family-Friendly Management, Organizational Performance and Social Legitimacy

Woods, S. A. & de Menezes, L. M. (2010). Family-Friendly Management, Organizational Performance and Social Legitimacy. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(10), pp. 1575-1597. doi: 10.1080/09585192.2010.500484


Research on family-friendly practices has concentrated on the predictors of their use, particularly from the perspective of either institutional theory or the high involvement or commitment management vogue. This paper first shows how such perspectives can be used to generate hypotheses about the link between family-friendly management and organizational performance. Second, the paper reports research designed to test these, using data from a national representative sample of workplaces across the British economy, the Workplace Employment Relations Survey of 2004 (WERS2004). The results support the high commitment thesis that family-friendly management will strengthen the relationship between commitment and key economic outcomes, as the relationships between workforce commitment and productivity or quality are stronger in organizations when friendly management is high, which is consistent with social exchange theory. Family-friendly management is not, however, related to the human resource outcomes of labour turnover and absenteeism. Nor does the study find support for the argument that its use in conjunction with high involvement management enhances the performance effects of both. Equally, there is no support for the hypothesis from the institutional thesis that family-friendly management has positive effects on the legitimacy of the organization.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Human Resource Management in 2010, available online:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Departments: Bayes Business School
SWORD Depositor:
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