Help in finding the right balance
: leadership, work-family balance and employee outcomes

  • Kristin Hildenbrand

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Although much research has examined employees’ experience of the work-family interface, its conceptualization has been rather problematic, ranging from work and family as mutually constraining through to mutually enriching and, more recently, to work-family balance (WFB). Building on Greenhaus and Allen’s (2011) conceptualization of WFB as comprising satisfaction and effectiveness components, I proposed and tested a model of he antecedents and outcomes of WFB. Based on work-family border theory, I hypothesised that family-supportive supervisor behaviours (FSSB) facilitate WFB and hat the relationship is stronger when the organisation also offers formal support (availability of family-friendly practices (FFPs); enhancement effect). Furthermore, I integrated the leadership and work-family interface literatures by proposing authentic eadership as an antecedent of FSSB. Based on role accumulation theories, I proposed life satisfaction and health as outcomes of WFB satisfaction and WFB effectiveness and job performance as an outcome of only WFB effectiveness. I tested my hypotheses with individual-level data in Study 1 (two waves of data; employees from Germany and the UK) and nested data (individuals nested in teams; two waves of data; employee and supervisor ratings; Germany and the UK) in Study 2. The obtained findings largely supported the hypothesized model and showed that both authentic leadership (Study 1) and team authentic leadership (Study 2) predicted FSSB which, in turn, increased WFB satisfaction and WFB effectiveness. Contrary to my prediction, both studies revealed that FSSB and (team) availability of FFPs compensated for each other, only impacting WFB satisfaction/effectiveness if the other form of family support was not available. Furthermore, both components were positively related to life satisfaction and health, while WFB effectiveness was only related to self-rated performance (Study 1) and not supervisor-rated performance (Study 2). Lastly, the serial moderated mediation model hat tested the conditional indirect effect of (team) authentic leadership on the outcomes received mixed support.
    Date of AwardJan 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorClaudia Sacramento (Supervisor) & Samuel N Aryee (Supervisor)


    • Work-family balance,
    • authentic leadership
    • FSSB
    • family-friendly practices
    • work-family border theory

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