Work-family practices and accommodating work-family workplaces: a combined institutional and resource dependent theory explanation

Using survey data from 344 human resource management professionals, a combined institutional and resource perspective was used to explore the reasons for organisation provision of work-family practices and an accommodating work-family workplace. The results indicated that institutional forces were more explanatory of the provision of formal policies and programs. In particular public sector organisations were more likely to provide a broad range of work-family policies (flexible work options, leave provisions, childcare, paid maternity leave) followed by organisations with larger numbers of employees (childcare, career path alternatives, paid maternity leave). However, accommodating work-family workplaces were more likely to be evident in small organisations or those managed by women. The findings indicate that apart from those organisations with more female managers or employees with dependants, the characteristics of these organisations' workforces were not strongly related to the provision of work-family practices or to how accommodating the workplace was to work-family issues.