Acculturation and Individualism as Predictors of Work-Family Conflict in a Diverse Workforce

ISI: Acculturation and Individualism as Predictors of Work-Family Conflict in a Diverse Workforce


2013 - Human Resource Management - Vol. 52, N° 5, Pp. 741 - 769


Ethnic and cultural diversity is an increasing reality in the US workplace. The current study highlights the importance of acknowledging the culturally heterogeneous nature of ethnic groups, and the need to focus on social identity characteristics such as cultural values when assessing group differences. We demonstrate that cultural values (i.e., individualism) contribute to employees’ experiences of work-family confl ict beyond the effects of ethnicity. Specifi cally, we introduce a model informed by social identity theory that explains why acculturation is related to work-family confl ict. The model was tested with a sample of 309 employed Caucasian and Hispanic Americans. An empirical test of our model provides evidence that individualism mediates the relationship between language- and social-based acculturation and workfamily confl ict, even when controlling for ethnicity. Additionally, alternative models further reveal that the effects of acculturation and individualism contribute to work interfering with family. As an implication of the current study, we suggest that researchers and organizational managers should consider the cultural values of their diverse workforce when implementing policies that affect confl ict between work and family.


Work-family confl ict, Diversity, Social identity theory.

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