represent an individual’s resources. If
one or more slices are taken away for
activities and obligations outside of
work, fewer resources are available
for work. Conflict occurs as individu-
als struggle to allocate portions of the
pie to family and work. The process
of depleting resources and generating
conflict is known as interference
between family and work.
Interference can have negative effects
on psychological well-being and sat-
isfaction with one’s life and job.
Increased globalization and
advanced technology have only exac-
erbated workplace demands on man-
agers, who are expected to work long
hours, to make themselves available
around the clock, and often to take
extended business trips. Such expec-
tations leave little room for family
and other personal concerns in man-
agers’ lives. Although some compa-
nies offer programs designed to help
managers integrate their work and
personal lives, managers are unlikely
to take advantage of such initiatives.
They fear that doing so would jeop-
ardize their careers. After all, man-
agers’ ability to integrate their work
and personal lives is rarely a consid-
eration when deciding who will
receive promotions.
As a result, workplace norms
make it difficult for managers to inte-
grate family and work and increase
the potential for interference.
Interference can manifest itself in a
number of ways—managers may feel
guilty or torn because they can’t do it
all. They may experience psychologi-
cal stress or feel dissatisfied with
their lives and jobs.
Recently, the view that paying atten-
tion to family and other aspects of
life outside of work inherently dimin-
ishes commitment to work has been
increasingly questioned. Female man-
agers in particular have expressed
skepticism about the view that com-
plete devotion to the organization is
necessary for managers to perform
Issues relating to the integration of
work and personal-life activities and to
the role of family in the context of
work are not new; in the United States
they first began to be recognized and
addressed in the 1960s, when women
with child-rearing responsibilities
began to enter the workforce in larger
numbers. In 1962, the federal govern-
ment started the first program to pro-
vide mothers receiving welfare with
access to child care while they worked
or received job training. But evolving
family roles, increasing globalization,
and advances in technology have made
issues of work-life integration more
prominent, and these concerns are no
longer considered confined to
women—the interface of fatherhood
and work is a growing topic of discus-
sion. There is also an increasing recog-
nition that personal lives encompass
more than traditional family roles.
An alternative to Goode’s scarcity
hypothesis was first put forth in the
mid-1970s, in separate American
Sociological Review articles by Sam
D. Sieber and Stephen R. Marks.
These sociologists suggested that
individuals’ psychological and physi-
cal resources are expandable, not
fixed—in other words, individuals can
expand their resource “pies,” engag-
ing in what is called role accumula-
tion. This view posits that investing
time and energy in activities outside
of work can produce resources, such
as psychological vitality, skills, and
support from others. These resources
are then transferred to the work set-
ting, strengthening managerial skills,
problem-solving abilities, and overall
work performance. Ultimately, the
transfer of resources from personal
experiences to work—known as
enhancement—can strengthen man-
agers’ skills and abilities at work and
make them better-rounded leaders.
Later research evidence, including
the results of a new CCL study pub-
lished in the January 2007 issue of the
Journal of Applied Psychology (see the
sidebar on page 10), supports the idea
that work and family roles can build
on each other, creating a synergy that
can actually enhance and strengthen
managers’ performance at work.
In today’s global and increasingly
competitive business environment,
the relationship between family and
work roles is a critical issue for
organizations. If they are to be suc-
cessful, organizations can no longer
limit their employee pools to workers
who can keep personal concerns from
affecting their work lives. There have
been numerous recent predictions
that a shortage of talent is on the
horizon (if it has not already arrived)
and that this lack of talent may have
a serious negative effect on organiza-
Marian N. Ruderman is
director of CCL’s Global
Leadership and Diversity
research group. She holds a
Ph.D. degree from the
University of Michigan.
Laura M. Graves is an asso-
ciate professor of manage-
ment at Clark University. She
holds a Ph.D. degree from
the University of
Patricia J. Ohlott, a senior
project manager at the OMG
Center for Collaborative
Learning, was previously a
senior associate at CCL. She
holds a B.A. degree from
Yale University and has com-
pleted graduate work at
Duke University.

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