Job-Family Satisfaction and Work-Family Conflict among Female Married Professionals in Hong Kong: A Dichotomy of Attitude and Outlook

By Lo, Susanna; Wright, Philip et al. | International Journal of Employment Studies, October 2003 | Go to article overview

Job-Family Satisfaction and Work-Family Conflict among Female Married Professionals in Hong Kong: A Dichotomy of Attitude and Outlook


Lo, Susanna, Wright, Philip, Wright, Robert, International Journal of Employment Studies


This study draws on the current status of Hong Kong professional women and the difficulties and conflicts they encounter in combining home and work roles. It examines their feelings towards their personal and professional lives. Data were obtained by means of in-depth interviews with female married professionals with children in Hong Kong (N=50). General job/family satisfaction questions were asked to ascertain their satisfaction levels with job and family. A large majority of the respondents, somewhat surprisingly, indicated they were 'satisfied' with both job and family life, despite the fact that combining the two made for an 'intense' lifestyle, suggesting that they accepted their traditional social roles. This article argues that Hong Kong managers should become more aware of both the psychological stresses on their female employees and the nature of the balancing act between life and work that they have to perform, so as to gain competitive advantage by attracting and retaining qualified women in the workforce.

INTRODUCTION

Much of the discussion about women and paid work in the recent decades of rapid change has focused on their experiences of levels of life stress as a result of their multiple roles. Research shows overwhelming evidence that women continue to bear primary responsibilities for home and child care in spite of their labour market participation (Pleck, 1985; Carlson and Perrewe, 1999).

There is a general consensus among researchers that many married professional women experience significant levels of work-family conflict (Aryee and Luk, 1996; Becker and Moen, 1999; Duxbury and Higgins, 1991; Greenhaus et al., 1989; Gutek et al., 1991). It has long been known, however, that perceived control over a work situation alleviates some work-family stress. The spouse and age of child or children can also be moderating factors (Brown, 2000; Hanson and Sloane, 1992; Holahna and Gilbert, 1979; Kelly and Voydanoff, 1985; Voydaboff, 1988).

Women are not necessarily at risk of stress-related ailments. Hanson and Sloane (l992) found that women enjoy paid work and are better off both economically and psychologically. Many make adaptations by defining success in terms of becoming experts in their field, for example, rather than attempting to climb corporate hierarchies (Sturges, 1999). There are indications that senior female professionals experience lower stress levels and exhibit better health than their more junior counterparts (Beatty, 1996). Thus, stress levels may be a function of career choice and age.

This article will investigate whether it is possible to feel a general level of satisfaction with both job and family in the face of significant work-family conflict. By 'satisfaction' is meant a feeling of contentment or fulfilment. This concept has not yet been explored within an Asian context. Women in Hong Kong have great exposure to Western ideas through increasing technology and media access; yet, cultural values and attitudes towards women remain traditional (Shaffer et al., 2000). According to traditional Chinese thinking, women are viewed primarily as caretakers of the family and are treated as second-class citizens and inferior to men (Lai, 1995; Tsui, l993). Married managerial women in Hong Kong appear to encounter a lot of work-family problems in the Chinese socio-cultural environment. Their increased participation in the workplace has not resulted in changes in their family role (Aryee et al., 1999). Rather, the taking-up of paid employment by women seems to have led to a considerable expansion in their role, since their husbands continue to limit their own participation in childcare and household chores (Pearson, 1990). Although one might predict that married professional women suffer significant work-family conflict (or feelings of inadequacy and/or guilt), it can also be anticipated that they enjoy their paid role and accept their traditional roles by surviving through the incongruencies between their strong Confucian values and their participation in the labour force. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Job-Family Satisfaction and Work-Family Conflict among Female Married Professionals in Hong Kong: A Dichotomy of Attitude and Outlook
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.