Work-family balance is one of the major organizational challenges of the 21st century. Extensive research has been conducted that assesses wf-balance from the conflict standpoint, but in recent years, benefits, resulting from simultaneous participation in the work and family role, have gained increased interest. This research literature is much less developed and scholars have called for more international studies that simultaneously look at the positive and negative sides of the work-family interface. This study answers to that call and assesses work and family conflict and enrichment from the standpoint of Icelandic working fathers and mothers, who had taken parental leave in previous 6 years. Total of 1300 participants, 53% male, mean age 35 years (4.9 SD), 98% were married/cohabiting, and 79% worked full time. Multiple hierarchical regression showed that Icelandic fathers experience more conflict and less enrichment than Icelandic mothers (controlled for age, number of children, and number of weekly work hours. Cohen’s d from.52 to.72). T-test for independent samples showed that Icelandic fathers experienced significantly more time and behavior related conflicts than Icelandic mothers, and mothers experienced significantly more enrichment then men. Work-family enrichment and family-work enrichment were positively correlated to job satisfaction, emotional organizational commitment, life and family satisfaction (r=.25 to.45), whereas work-family conflict and family-work conflict were negatively correlated to the same variables (r=-.18 to -.37). Icelandic mothers report stronger positive attitude and support from employer and coworkers regarding taking time off to care for children than Icelandic fathers.
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The 22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference. 2013