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The transmission of work-related attitudes: a social learning analysis
O'Shea, Deirdre; Kirrane, Melrona
Purpose and aims: Within the research on work/family balance and conflict, very little research has focused on the effects that various types of dual and single earner family environments may have on the early development of attitudes towards work and family amongst. Drawing on Social Learning Theory, this research provides data that serves as a first step towards addressing this gap. The study focuses on personal and social background factors as potential channels for the transmission of work related attitudes in young adults. The study examines the extent to which gender, parental job type, job status, and education, as well as school experience, influence the development of attitudes towards work and family life. Method: The study comprised a quantitative (questionnaire based) survey with a sample of 782 final year undergraduate students attending various third level institutions in Ireland and the USA. Results: The results indicated that individuals who had grown up in traditional mixed families, had more positive attitudes towards balancing work and home roles than did those who had grown up in traditional single earner families. Father’s educational level also emerged as a significant factor in the career-family attitudes of the participants. In addition, the number of children in the family, and more specifically, the number of boys in the family were found to negatively predict attitudes towards managing the career-family interface, while the number of girls in the family was a positive predictor. These work-family attitudes were found to further differ depending on school experience. Research limitations/implications: The results of this research indicate that young people have developed attitudes towards managing the work/family interface on entering the workforce, which they acquire through a social learning process. Limitations included the cross-sectional nature of the design and future longitudinal research is needed. We also suggest that the field will benefit from further research using typologies of dual and single earner families. Practical Implications: Organizations and managers need to be aware of the well developed attitudes of new entrants in order to address early issues of psychological contract and personorganizational fit, which have an impact on career success and career management. Originality and value of paper: These findings break new ground on the role of social learning on the formation of attitudes towards managing the work-family interface. Such attitudes proceed to inform behavioral patterns and decisions in the harmonious management of the two domains.
Keyword(s): work-family attitudes; dual-careers; social learning theory; transmission of attitudes; Attitudes, Careers, Social norms, Social roles, Lifestyles
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Dublin City University
Citation(s): O'Shea, Deirdre ORCID: 0000-0001-9107-1434 <> and Kirrane, Melrona (2008) The transmission of work-related attitudes: a social learning analysis. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 23 (5). pp. 524-557. ISSN 0268-3946
Publisher(s): Emerald
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s):,
First Indexed: 2018-03-24 06:05:02 Last Updated: 2019-10-10 06:08:04