Citation

“They work, work, work”: Work-Family Policies & Practices in Nursing Homes

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Similar Titles



Abstract:

Research on work-family policies abound, but most studies have focused on white-collar workers and settings or utilized nationally representative samples that generalize across populations of workers and organizations. Scholars lack detailed understanding of the dual management of paid work and family care work by low-wage workers, and know little about how employers of low-wage workers have responded to work-family issues. The racial/ethnic stratification of occupations implies that research on white-collar workers provides information primarily on white, native-born workers. We extend the previous literature on employers’ work-family policies by analyzing qualitative data on formal policies and management practices in four nursing homes with racially diverse and immigrant workers. Although a number of policies are officially available, there is clear evidence of decoupling of policy and everyday practice. We identify two reasons for this decoupling. First, there is a mismatch between the policies and management’s desire to maintain control over staffing practices and meet company goals regarding labor costs; this source of decoupling is related to findings in previous studies. Second, there is a mismatch between the policies and workers’ needs, as understood by their supervisors. These low-wage workers often try to maximize their income – even when that means less family time – so the work-family policies common in other organizations are viewed as unhelpful or irrelevant. This analysis confirms the essential role of managers as gatekeepers for workers wishing to utilize family-supportive policies but also documents that some managers creatively exploit decoupling of policy and practice to benefit or hinder workers.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

work (146), famili (112), polici (97), worker (95), nurs (71), supervisor (71), work-famili (53), site (48), home (40), time (40), leav (37), employe (35), yes (34), need (33), manag (32), decoupl (31), use (30), 100 (29), schedul (27), studi (27), flexibl (27),
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Association:
Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
URL:
http://www.asanet.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p505460_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Okechukwu, Cassandra., Kelly, Erin., Sembajwe, Grace. and Berkman, Lisa. "“They work, work, work”: Work-Family Policies & Practices in Nursing Homes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV, Aug 19, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p505460_index.html>

APA Citation:

Okechukwu, C. , Kelly, E. , Sembajwe, G. and Berkman, L. , 2011-08-19 "“They work, work, work”: Work-Family Policies & Practices in Nursing Homes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p505460_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Research on work-family policies abound, but most studies have focused on white-collar workers and settings or utilized nationally representative samples that generalize across populations of workers and organizations. Scholars lack detailed understanding of the dual management of paid work and family care work by low-wage workers, and know little about how employers of low-wage workers have responded to work-family issues. The racial/ethnic stratification of occupations implies that research on white-collar workers provides information primarily on white, native-born workers. We extend the previous literature on employers’ work-family policies by analyzing qualitative data on formal policies and management practices in four nursing homes with racially diverse and immigrant workers. Although a number of policies are officially available, there is clear evidence of decoupling of policy and everyday practice. We identify two reasons for this decoupling. First, there is a mismatch between the policies and management’s desire to maintain control over staffing practices and meet company goals regarding labor costs; this source of decoupling is related to findings in previous studies. Second, there is a mismatch between the policies and workers’ needs, as understood by their supervisors. These low-wage workers often try to maximize their income – even when that means less family time – so the work-family policies common in other organizations are viewed as unhelpful or irrelevant. This analysis confirms the essential role of managers as gatekeepers for workers wishing to utilize family-supportive policies but also documents that some managers creatively exploit decoupling of policy and practice to benefit or hinder workers.


Similar Titles:
Low-Waged Workers in a “Family-Friendly” Corporation: Call Center Employees' Use of Formal and Informal Work-Family Policies

You Care for Your Work; I’ll Care for Your Family: Work-family Policies and Worker Commitment

Flexible Work Practices over Time in an IT Organization: Evidence from the Work, Family & Health Network Study


 
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