Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

The Work-Family Challenge: Rethinking Employment

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

The Work-Family Challenge: Rethinking Employment

Article excerpt

The Work-Family Challenge: Rethinking Employment. Suzan Lewis & Jeremy Lewis (Eds.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 1996. 175 pp. ISBN 0-8039-7468-X. $69.95 cloth, $26.95 paper.

Changes in family structure and the greater participation of women in paid labor mean that increasing numbers of individuals are facing incompatible work and family responsibilities. Suzan Lewis and Jeremy Lewis have assembled an edited volume that confronts the need for organizational transformation to dissolve the artificial boundary between the domains of employment and family. The book assumes that such change is necessary and beneficial and addresses the following questions: Why do we need organizational change? Who benefits from it? How has organizational change been attempted? Which strategies are most effective?

Both academics and nonacademics contribute to this book. The academics have expertise in organizational psychology, cooperative education, social work, political science, and sociology. Other chapters are written by those involved in the public sector. For example, Jeremy Lewis is a barrister, and Christine Camp is a senior manager of equal opportunities at a bank. Using their varied backgrounds, the contributors deal with the work-family challenge in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States.

The diversity offered by their multidisciplinary and international focus is effective in identifying the importance of political, economic, social, and global contexts in shaping the likelihood that such change will occur and in underscoring the need for systemic organizational change. The chapters address different dimensions of the work-family system, and together ultimately dismiss two widely accepted beliefs that generate resistance to organizing the workplace differently. …

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