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WORKPLACE SOCIAL SUPPORT AND WORK–FAMILY CONFLICT: A META-ANALYSIS CLARIFYING THE INFLUENCE OF GENERAL AND WORK–FAMILY-SPECIFIC SUPERVISOR AND ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT

Authors


  • This research was partially supported by the Work, Family and Health Network, which is funded by a cooperative agreement through the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant # U01HD051217, U01HD051218, U01HD051256, U01HD051276), National Institute on Aging (Grant # U01AG027669), Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Grant # U010H008788). The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of these institutes and offices. Special acknowledgement goes to Extramural Staff Science Collaborator, Rosalind Berkowitz King, Ph.D. (NICHD) and Lynne Casper, Ph.D. (now of the University of Southern California) for design of the original Workplace, Family, Health and Well-Being Network Initiative. Persons interested in learning more about the Network should go to http://www.kpchr.org/workplacenetwork/. We thank Lillian Eby and several anonymous reviewers for helpful comments, Krista Brockwood for editorial assistance, and Michigan State University for additional research support of several graduate students who helped with coding.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Ellen Ernst Kossek, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University, Associate Director, Center for Work–Family Stress Safety & Health, School of Human Resources & Labor Relations, East Lansing, MI 48824–1032; kossek@msu.edu.

Abstract

This article uses meta-analysis to develop a model integrating research on relationships between employee perceptions of general and work–family-specific supervisor and organizational support and work–family conflict. Drawing on 115 samples from 85 studies comprising 72,507 employees, we compared the relative influence of 4 types of workplace social support to work–family conflict: perceived organizational support (POS); supervisor support; perceived organizational work–family support, also known as family-supportive organizational perceptions (FSOP); and supervisor work–family support. Results show work–family-specific constructs of supervisor support and organization support are more strongly related to work–family conflict than general supervisor support and organization support, respectively. We then test a mediation model assessing the effects of all measures at once and show positive perceptions of general and work–family-specific supervisor indirectly relate to work–family conflict via organizational work–family support. These results demonstrate that work–family-specific support plays a central role in individuals’ work–family conflict experiences.

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