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EXPLORING THE PARADOX

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This paper explores work-to-family conflict among 77 managerial fathers in Sweden by focusing on flexible working arrangements. Sweden provides a unique setting for the study of fathers' work-to-family conflict as it has a 30-year-old social policy tradition of promoting gender equality in the workplace and in the home. Our results show that managerial fathers experience high levels of work-to-family conflict, despite high access to flexible working arrangements. Using a border theory perspective, hierarchical regression analysis shows the importance of gender egalitarianism in the family (taking responsibility for children and being in a dual earner family), as well as flexible working arrangements (satisfaction with job flexibility and access to flexleave) in explaining work-to-family conflict for managerial fathers. Organizational time demands (time pressure at work and average work hours) and use of flextime were less important. Our results imply that gender egalitarian managerial fathers with access to flexleave have a win-win situation. They experience less work-to-family conflict and set a good example for their employees.
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Keywords: Flextime; Sweden; border theory; fathers; managers; work-family conflict

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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