Dual-Career Couples in the Public Sector: A Management Guide for Human Resource Professionals

Dual-Career Couples in the Public Sector: A Management Guide for Human Resource Professionals

Dual-Career Couples in the Public Sector: A Management Guide for Human Resource Professionals

Dual-Career Couples in the Public Sector: A Management Guide for Human Resource Professionals

Synopsis

Based on extensive survey data, this book presents the first comprehensive examination of public sector dual-career couples and the problems commonly faced by human resource managers in this area. In addition to providing guidance on legislative issues and judicial policies that affect the employment of dual-career couples, the authors explore strategies for resolving critical policy obstacles and integrating these employees into the workplace.

Excerpt

This chapter describes the important differences between dual-career and other dual-earner couples, single parents, and traditional marriages with a single wage earner. It will help you understand the positive and negative effects of dualcareer couples on the organizations in which they work and the marital relationships they maintain.

In this chapter, you will meet some dual-career couples who work in the public sector. Although their names have been changed for purposes of confidentiality, they are real people. Some were interviewed specifically for the purpose of this book. Others responded to a survey of either the members the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) or of the International Personnel Management Association (IPMA). (Details of the questions used in formal interviews are provided in the appendix at the end of the book, as are descriptions of the surveys conducted.)

In this chapter, you will learn how dual-career couples manage, and why they manage. You will read about why people tackle the challenges of a dual-career marriage and about the rewards and frustrations associated with this lifestyle.

On the one hand, dual-career couples can enjoy economic and social equality within their marriage. On the other hand, demands of their respective careers may conflict with marriage and family responsibilities. On the one hand, conflicting demands arise that do not occur in families with one breadwinner. On the other hand, these demands can be more easily addressed because of dual expertise and dual economic resources.

Although the dual-career approach to marriage flies in the face of convention, it is a lifestyle embraced by many professional employees. New forms of occupational stress result from this lifestyle, suggesting that you, as a human resource manager, need to understand and empathize with these people. If you are committed to maximizing the contributions of those who work in your organization, this chapter will enhance your ability to do that.

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