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Special Issue


Guest Editors: Ariane OLLIER-MALATERRE, Monique VALCOUR, Laura DEN DULK,


Topic: National context in work-life research


Management research is increasingly devoting efforts to the adequate
consideration of context. Multi-level data are collected and analyzed and
research findings are contextualized to highlight the situated nature of the
phenomena that are studied and of the knowledge that is produced. However,
little research has thought to use or build frameworks able to go beyond
contextualization, so as to theorize context and narrow the micro-macro gap
in management research. Work-life research is no exception: increasingly
work-life scholars conduct cross-national comparative research, yet there
are few integrative multi-level theoretical frameworks that enable them to
conceptualize the different layers of context and their interactions, and
few empirical studies to test these frameworks.


This special issue focuses on a distinctive dimension of context, national
context, and more specifically on the role that the structural and cultural
dimensions of national context play in work-life/work-family research.
Traditionally, national context has been understood from an institutional
perspective, focusing on a country's national institutions or systems of
institutions, and from a cultural perspective, focusing on values and
beliefs systems. 


Work-life/work-family research is particularly sensitive to national
context, to the extent that national context may influence research: 

*         At the macro level (public policy), 

*         At the meso level (HR practices, work-life culture, workgroups

*         At the micro level (individual attitudes and behaviors),

*         And the epistemic levels (production of knowledge).


This special issue aims at making a contribution to work-life research and
beyond, by inviting manuscripts that theorize national context and/or
present robust methods to capture the influence of national context in
work-life research. 



We invite manuscripts addressing the following questions:


(1)    How can national context be conceptualized in work-life/work-family
research? And in particular:

*         What are the most relevant institutional and cultural frameworks
for work-life research? To what extent can the institutional and the
cultural approaches be articulated to theorize national context?

*         How can the cross-level relationships between higher-level
national context factors (e.g. public provisions, tax system, education
system, labour market, gender ideology) and lower-level work-life factors
(e.g. individuals' attitudes and behaviors, organizational practices,
unions' stance towards work-life) be specified? 

*         What are the most salient elements of national context that impact
work-life at the organization and individual levels?

*         How can national context be conceptualized in a dynamic way
accounting for social and economic change as well as trans-national
influences (e.g. European Union impulse, multinationals)?

*         How can within-country heterogeneity (e.g. occupational, regional,
socio-demographic and individual differences) be accounted for when
theorizing national context? 

*         How can theories of national context be operationalized to design
robust work-life/work-family research that goes beyond contextualization?


(2)    What does national context explain in work-life/work-family research?
And in particular:

*         How does national context shape work-life attitudes and behaviors
at the individual level - e.g. work-life conflict, work-life enrichment,
segmentation and integration of work and non-work, employee sense of
entitlement towards work-life support, employee awareness and use of
work-life initiatives;

*         How does national context shape work-life attitudes and behaviors
at the workgroup and organizational level - e.g. adoption and implementation
of work-life programs and practices, work-life culture within organizations
and work groups, supervisor and co-worker support, outcomes of work-life
initiatives for employees and organizations;

*         How does national context shape work-life policies and public
provisions at the national level - e.g. personal and family leaves,
childcare and educations systems, life-long learning, tax systems that
encourage or discourage dual-careers;

*         How do researchers' nationality(ies) and/or countries of
socialization shape work-life research at the epistemic level - e.g. the way
scholars select and ask research questions, design research, interpret
findings, write manuscripts and diffuse knowledge.


We welcome conceptual and empirical manuscripts that make a strong
theoretical contribution as to how national context can be conceptualized in
work-life/work-family research and/or a strong methodological contribution
as to how national context can be apprehended in comparative
work-life/work-family research. Manuscripts that compare work-life phenomena
across countries without offering a strong theorization of national context
will not be considered.

Manuscripts that develop or apply multi-level frameworks, manuscripts that
span disciplinary boundaries and qualitative manuscripts are particularly


Contributors should note:

*         This  call  is  open  and  competitive,  and  the  submitted
manuscripts  will  be blind reviewed in the normal way.

*         Submitted manuscripts must be based on original material not under
consideration by any other journal or outlet.


The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2012.

This special issue is intended for publication mid 2013.


Manuscripts to be considered for this special issue should follow the
directions described on the EMJ website and be submitted online: please
refer to  <>

When submitting, please select the special issue under "manuscript type". 


You may direct questions to one of the guest editors:
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask],  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask],  <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask],
and  <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]


Monique VALCOUR, PhD

Professor of Management

393, Promenade des Anglais, BP 3116

06202 Nice cedex 3

E-mail:  [log in to unmask]




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