Supporting Working Parents: The Effects of Work-Family Policies on Job Performance



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Work-family policies are critical for meeting employee needs and ensuring a diverse and equitable workforce, however theory and research has yet to fully explain how employees reciprocate with job performance throughout the employee life cycle. Specifically, I extend social exchange theory by examining the importance of work-family policy availability and use during the job search process for organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) and counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs) (study 1) and after the birth of a child for cumulative productivity trends (study 2). In study 1, I examine how the attractiveness of work-family policies during the job search process may relate to the individual’s OCBs and CWBs after accepting a job. First, I will construct and evaluate a measure of attractiveness of family supportive organizations using two samples (N1 = 407 students; N2 = 350 job seekers with children, which I define as an individual’s positive attitude towards applying to organizations that support family responsibilities. Using moderated mediation on the second sample, I will assess a social exchange theory model of organizations providing work-family policies to meet the individual’s attraction to family supportive organizations relates to the employee’s OCBs and CWBs once employed. In study 2, I will use two samples of academic parents (N1 = 129 parents, n1 = 1,527 observations; N2 = 386 parents, n2 = 6,945 observations) to examine how the availability and use of childcare benefits and parental leave impact their cumulative research productivity trends after the birth of a child. The current study strengthens the theoretical and practical implications for work-family policies improving OCBs, CWBs, and cumulative productivity trends.



Work-family policies, Job performance, Parents