Creating the Will Without the Way? How and When Employee Belonging Leads to Voice on DEI Issues

The need to belong—often defined as having a sense of connection to one’s group (Baumeister & Leary, 1995)—is a fundamental human motive that has become an important theme in discussions related to diversity in the workplace. The need to belong—often defined as having a sense of connection to one’s group (Baumeister & Leary, 1995)—is a fundamental human motive that has become an important theme in discussions related to diversity in the workplace

Research conducted by Stephanie J. Creary, PhD, Assistant Professor of Management, The Wharton School; Nancy Rothbard, Deputy Dean and Professor of Management, The Wharton School; Michael Parke, Assistant Professor of Management, The Wharton School; & Jared Scruggs, PhD Candidate, Management Department, The Wharton School.

Increasing transparency of domestic labor between dual-career partners to boost spousal support and reduce female workers’ experience of home-family interferences with work duties

Women in heterosexual, dual-earner couples increasingly earn as much or even more than their male counterparts. Yet, they still tend to perform the bulk of their household’s domestic activities (i.e., chores and childcare). These extra demands at home, in turn, interfere with their professional duties, impede their career achievements, and hinder their ability to secure—or even seek—leadership positions. We propose an intervention to alleviate this issue. Drawing from the literature on social dilemmas and public goods game, we theorize that gender disparities in contributions to domestic labor between dual-career partners resembles a normatively tolerated form of free riding: Some men enjoy the benefits of their household’s output (e.g., a clean house, healthy meals, fresh laundry, well-raised children) without contributing their fair share. Expanding upon prior free riding interventions, we hypothesize that making daily contributions at home more transparent will bring attention to the problem and offer feedback regarding the—often underestimate—size of the contribution gap in their household, pushing domestic free riders to work toward a more equitable division of labor. This study will help inform whether, when, and how increasing transparency about domestic labor can boost spousal support and reduce family interferences with work duties, particularly for female professionals in dual-career couples, whose extra burden at home hinders their career and leadership opportunities.

Research conducted by Nancy Rothbard, Deputy Dean and David Pottruck Professor of Managemen, The Wharton  and  Stephane P. Francioli, PhD Researcher, Manaagement Department, The Wharton School

 

A Balancing Act: Why efforts to improve work-life balance backfire for East Asian employees

Employees have witnessed a notable increase in the extent to which their organizations encourage work-life balance (Kim, Galinsky, & Ipshita, 2020; Laker & Roulet, 2019). The widespread push toward a culture of work-life balance is assumed to be a virtue that improves job satisfaction while reducing the likelihood of burnout (Allen, 2001; Behson, 2005; Thompson & Prottas, 2006). However, a vexing problem surfaces when considering the link between organizational culture and ethnic culture: organizations that place a premium on work-life balance may inadvertently undermine the experience of employees who hail from ethnic cultures that place an especially strong emphasis on work as a virtue (e.g., East Asians). Although all cultures attest to the importance of work for making a living, supporting family, and contributing productively to society, many East Asian cultures – including the Chinese, South Korean, and Japanese – place an especially strong emphasis on the core value of industriousness (Hong, 2001; Kim & Park, 2003; Kitayama & Salvador, 2024; Redding, 1990; Tsang, 2011), which we define as viewing hard work as so virtuous that people should devote more time to it than other areas of life. We integrate research on culture conflict and cognitive dissonance theory to argue that East Asians experience reduced job satisfaction and engagement when their organizations prioritize work-life balance, and that this effect is mediated by reduced organizational identification. Through this research, we advance the literature on work-life balance by challenging the assumption that a stronger emphasis on work-life balance is uniformly beneficial for engagement and satisfaction. We highlight a dark side to a culture of work-life balance for some employees, including for the psychological conditions that are ostensibly bolstered by such cultures.

Research conducted by Drew Carton, Associate Professor of Management; the Wharton School, and Stephanie Yu, Doctoral Candidate in Management, the Wharton School