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Work–life balance: A review of the meaning of the balance construct

  • Thomas Kalliath (a1) and Paula Brough (a2)


Although the term work–family/life balance is widely employed, an agreed definition of this term has proved elusive. Instead, an array of definitions and measures populate the literature. The variety of work–life definitions and measures provide limited value for both the theoretical advancement of the construct and for practical human resource (HR) interventions. In this article, we review six conceptualisations of work–life balance found in the literature: (1) multiple roles; (2) equity across multiple roles; (3) satisfaction between multiple roles; (4) fulfilment of role salience between multiple roles; (5) a relationship between conflict and facilitation; and (6) perceived control between multiple roles. Based on our review of this research we identify the two primary features of the work–life balance definitions and propose a new definition of this construct.



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