Research & Publications
The Center for Work & Family maintains an active research agenda. In addition to its own projects, a primary objective is to act as a bridge between leading academic researchers and work-life practitioners. This dual focus requires the Center to not only conduct its own research, but also to keep informed of the most current research in the field from a wide variety of sources.
Current and recent Center research projects include:
- The Fatherhood Studies:
Over the past four years, much of the Center’s research has focused on the changing role of fathers. An under-researched area within the wok-life field, recent evidence suggests that working fathers may experience more work-family conflict than their female counterparts. As a result, the Center has undertaken and released the results of three unique studies that focus on the lives of these men:
The New Dad: Exploring Fatherhood Within a Career Context (2010): Our first fatherhood report was based on qualitative interview with 33 new fathers with children under the age of one. It explored how these recent fathers were adjusting to their increased family responsibilities and how those were impacting their view of their careers and their responsibilities on the home front.
The New Dad: Caring, Committed and Conflicted (2011): This quantitative study provides a deeper understanding of the struggles fathers face as they embrace their roles as breadwinner and caregiver. This research explored the experiences of nearly 1000 fathers working in a number of diverse Fortune 500 companies looking at their experiences as well as the degree of support they received from their manager, work colleagues, and employer.
The New Dad: Right at Home (2012) The center’s third report on fathers observed the impact of shifting gender roles through in-depth interviews with 31 at-home dads and surveys with 23 of their spouses. Counter to the viewpoint that most men are becoming at-home dads because they were laid off during the recession, these fathers report choosing the at-home role for pragmatic reasons ranging from income and career considerations to satisfying family life goals. Feedback from their wives reporting extremely positive results in the children’s development and that their at-home partner was a major enabler, facilitating the women’s development in the workplace.
To learn more about this research or to view or read news reports about the studies, visit: http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/centers/cwf/news/TheNewDad.html
If your organization would be interested in conducting a fatherhood study in your organization, please contact Fred Van Deusen at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
- Workplace Flexibility:
The Center has conducted a study of model programs for the implementation of flexible work arrangements (FWAs) in twenty-first century workplaces. The resulting report is entitled Overcoming the Implementation Gap: How 20 Leading Companies are Making Flexibility Work. The study is designed to get beyond simple lists of programs and policies to provide details as to how to implement and sustain FWAs. Some of the FWAs examined include: teleworking, part-time and reduced workload, job-sharing, on and off-ramp programs, alternative work schedules, and programs that link business results with flexible work arrangements. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-552-2844. Visit our Publications Page to view the Executive Summary or the Full Report.
BCCWF is currently participating in the National Workplace Flexibility Study with Life Meets Work and Career Life Alliance Services. Contact Jennifer Fraone for more information.
- Financial Wellness:
The recent financial crisis and significant changes in pensions systems across the world have left individual consumers with fewer guarantees for retirement and greater responsibility for financial decision-making. There is growing evidence that the majority of people lack the financial skills necessary to tackle these challenges. Recognizing the negative impact of financial distress on employee health and productivity, individual companies are taking actions to improve the financial wellness of their employees. They do so directly through their compensation and benefits, and indirectly, by providing financial education and other services. The MetLife Study of Financial Wellness Across the Globe describes how two multinational firms have taken strategic measures to address the financial wellness of their employees. For more information on this study, contact Fred Van Deusen.
- Managing Careers and Work/Life Integration:
Center Executive Director, Professor Brad Harrington and Professor Douglas T. Hall of Boston University, one of the country's pre-eminent career scholars, have collaborated on a new book Career Management and Work-Life Integration: Using Self Assessment to Navigate Contemporary Careers. The book is targeted at individuals or couples to assist them in navigating their careers and maintaining work/life balance during these challenging times. With a rigorous self assessment process as its foundation, this book addresses the changing employment contract, managing traditional and alternative career paths, using flexible work arrangements, and managing a career over the life span. The book will be appropriate for use in both academic and workplace settings for courses and executive education programs on career development and work/life. For more information, contact Brad Harrington.
- The Work-Life Evolution Study:
The purpose of The Work/Life Evolution Study is to assess the patterns of change in workforce management strategies over time and to develop a better understanding of the trends and forces that will catalyze the field moving forward. The study recommended future approaches to managing people through their career lifecycle that will yield highly positive outcomes for organizations and their employees. For more information, contact Brad Harrington.
- For information on the work we do to synthesize and translate the research of others, especially in order to aid practitioners in their work, click here.