Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the role of the work environment—specifically, the culture of support for work–family balance—in understanding employees' work attitudes and behaviors, as well as their stress levels and general well-being. It defines work–family culture and related constructs such as perceived organizational family support. Work–family culture has been defined as the “shared assumptions, beliefs, and values regarding the extent to which an organization supports and values the integration of employees' work and family lives.” It also addresses the important consideration of a national context for understanding work–family culture and offers insights for future research. Some definitions and operationalizations of work–family culture have included both formal and informal elements. It focuses on perceptions of both tangible and intangible support. Others have focused on informal or intangible aspects of culture only. It describes various dimensions of work–family culture that are proposed in the literature, as well as how work–family culture is measured. The latest research on work–family culture, including recent research using international samples is described, and then several examples of what organizations are doing to create a more supportive culture are provided. It concludes with thoughts about future research directions and implications for practice.