Work-family balance and cultural dimensions: from a developing nation perspective

Farveh Farivar, Roslyn Cameron, Mohsen Yaghoubi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between cultural dimensions and the roots of work-family balance issues in a developing non-Western cultural context. Drawing upon Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, the study suggests national cultural dimensions can shape the roots of work-family balance. Design/methodology/approach – A survey was distributed among employees of 12 companies operating in the health industry. The survey collected both quantitative and qualitative data through two separate approaches: seven-point Likert scales and open-ended questions. The data were analyzed via thematic exploratory analysis and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. Findings – The quantitative data confirms the extant literature in relation to the negative effects of moonlighting, economic hardship and the absence of a comprehensive work-family balance strategy on employee work-family balance. The qualitative data proposes a new variable, weak social interaction, which becomes the most important roots of work-family imbalance at both work and family domain. Practical implications – The present study suggests certain cultural dimensions such as high power distance hinders social interactions in the work and family domains, thereby increasing levels of work conflict, family conflict, and stress. Findings suggest organizations, especially multinationals, need to be cognizant of the role of cultural dimensions on human resource management practices related to work-family balance. Originality/value – Very little literature addresses the impact of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions on work-family balance issues. The present study has contributed to the existing body of literature by introducing a new variable (weak social interaction) as an antecedent of work-family imbalance. Further, the study is the first in Iran that has collected qualitative data to investigate work-family balance issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-333
Number of pages19
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic hardship
  • Hofstede’s cultural dimensions
  • Mixed methodologies
  • Social interaction
  • Work-family balance


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