Work-life, diversity and intersectionality: a critical review and research agenda

Özbilgin, Mustafa F., Beauregard, T. Alexandra, Tatli, Ahu and Bell, Myrtle P. (2011) Work-life, diversity and intersectionality: a critical review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 13 (2) . pp. 177-198. ISSN 1460-8545 [Article] (doi:10.1111/j.1468-2370.2010.00291.x)

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Work-life issues have important implications at both organizational and individual levels. This paper provides a critical review of the work-life literature from 1990 onwards through the lens of diversity, with particular focus on disparities of power induced by methodological and conceptual framings of work and life. Our review seeks to answer the following questions: What are the gaps and omissions in the work-life research? How may they be overcome? To answer these questions we scrutinize blind spots in treatment of life, diversity and power in work-life research both in positivist and critical scholarship. In order to transcend the blind spots in positivist and critical work-life research, we argue the case for an intersectional approach, which captures the changing realities of family and workforce through the lens of diversity and intersectionality. Our theoretical contribution is three fold: First, our review demonstrates that contemporary framing of life in the work-life literature should be expanded to cover aspects of life beyond domestic life. Second, our review explains why and how other strands of diversity than gender also manifest as salient causes of difference in experiences of the work-life interface. Third, our review reveals that social and historical context has more explanatory power on work-life dynamics than micro-individual level of explanations. Work-life literature should capture the dynamism in these contexts. We also provide a set of useful recommendations to capture and operationalize methodological and theoretical changes required in the work-life literature.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article first published online: 6 OCT 2010
Keywords (uncontrolled): Work-life, diversity, intersectionality, power, positivism, critical
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
Item ID: 19113
Notes on copyright: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Özbilgin, M. F., Beauregard, T. A., Tatli, A. and Bell, M. P. (2011), Work–Life, Diversity and Intersectionality: A Critical Review and Research Agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 13: 177–198. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2370.2010.00291.x, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving
Depositing User: Alexandra Beauregard
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2016 12:04
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 00:51

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