From ideal workers to ideal work for all: A 50-year review integrating careers and work-family research with a future research agenda

October 29, 2020

Journal of Vocational Behavior

For the 50th anniversary issue of the Journal of Vocational Behavior, Former WAPPP fellow Alyson Gounden Rock reviewed links between the work-family and careers literatures.

Of the 71 studies identified, most empirical articles took a trade-off lens, assuming an incompatibility between high dual role investments in career and family, which helps perpetuate ideal worker models. This gendered siloing of work-family and careers issues and the need for studies to address critical integrative problems was observed over fifty years ago in Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s seminal (1977) monograph. To guide the next decades' future research, Rock and co-authors Ellen Ernst Kosseka and Matthew Perrigino build on Kanter's prescient agenda, and propose expansion to four integrative lenses: Whole Life Demands-Resources; Linked-Lives of Family Life Course and Career Stages; Diversity, Intities; and Ideal Work in Changing Social, Technological, and Economic Contexts.