Purpose: The conservation of resources (COR) theory provides a theoretical foundation for work-family research. The purpose of this paper is to investigate thoroughly the associations between threat of or actual loss of resources as well as gain of resources and work-family interaction, employing COR assumptions and measures. Design/methodology/approach: A sample of 216 working mothers filled out a questionnaire that included conservation of resources evaluation and scales measuring work-family conflict (WFC) and enrichment. Analyses of variance were performed to test the hypothesized associations. Findings: WFC and family-work conflict (FWC) were positively correlated with the threat of and actual loss of resources; family-work enrichment (FWE) was positively correlated with the gain of resources. Participants who reported higher threat of loss of resources compared to gain of resources reported high levels of WFC and FWC; those who reported higher loss of resources compared to gain of resources reported high levels of FWC. In addition, participants who reported gains that outweighed losses (whether actual loss or simply threat of loss) reported higher levels of FWE. Originality/value: The findings support using the COR theory as a theoretical basis for work-family research and emphasize the detrimental role of threat of loss of resources. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
- Conservation of resources
- Resource reservoir
- Work and family
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation