Research project The aim of this project is to examine the effect of job control on work-family conflict. Comparisons are made between men and women, across professions and between countries.
The project takes its point of departure in the current debate about the ’flexibilization’of work and its effect on health and gender equality. According to several researchers, efforts to increase organizational flexibility have loosened the regulation of work, leaving it to individual employees to define and structure their work and, consequently, to draw the line between work and non-work. Such a development may make it easier to juggle the demands of paid work and family life and generally increase well-being, for job control – or the possibility for employees to influence their own work - has long been considered a buffer against stress. However, control may also be a source of stress, especially in downsized, flexible organisations. Here, control can make work difficult to define and delimit, causing negative spillover into private life. Previous research on work-family conflict has focused largely on work hours. Very few studies have considered the impact of control, although this is an important concept in research on work and stress, as well as in current debates about the transformation of work.