The family demands

Penn Foster College is a U.S. for-profit institution offering higher education via distance education. Penn Foster was founded in 1890, and was known as "International Correspondence Schools", or "ICS". The college was established in 1977 by ICS and was known as "The Center for Degree Studies", which was located in and operated from Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 2006, it was renamed Penn Foster College and moved to new headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In December 2009, Penn Foster College was purchased by test preparation and educational support company The Princeton Review from its previous owner, the Wicks Group, a private equity firm that had bought the college from Thomson Corporation in 2007.

"Work- family balance" is a term that refers to an individual's perceptions of the degree to which s/he a person is experiencing positive relationships between work and family roles, where the relationships are viewed as compatible and at equilibrium with each other. Like a fulcrum measuring the daily shifting weights of time and energy allocation between work and family life, the term, "work-family balance," provides a metaphor to countervail the historical notion that work and family relationships can often be competing, at odds, and conflicting.

Sociologist Rosabeth Moss Kanter was one of the first scholars to critique the prevailing assumption that workplaces and jobs must be designed to separate work from family demands. She challenged this approach as being socially necessary for employee effectiveness in carrying out the dual demands of being a worker and being a family member. She noted that as employing organizations shifted to be more demographically diverse, these stereotyped views on appropriate work and family relationships needed to be re-viewed in order to prevent negative processes affecting individuals and groups who were demographically different from the majority. Women as a growing minority group in employing organizations were having difficulty rising up the hierarchy and being accepted as managers as they juggled employment, and care giving and domestic demands. These same issues are still relevant to organizational studies today. Most men and women are juggling competing life demands outside of workplaces that still are largely designed based on a culture that work is the central role in employees' lives, and a belief that workers should sacrifice family personal roles in order to be successful on the job.

The construct"work-family balance" is a more positive way of viewing work-family relationships. It is consistent with the emergence of a new stream of research being promulgated by such writers as Greenhaus and Powell on work-family enrichment, the idea that work and family can also enrich and complement each other. Overall, research on work-family balance can be characterized as being organized along these competing positive and negative perspectives.

Work-Family Conflict

The negative perspective on balancing work-family relationships emanates out of role conflict theory, which Goode noted assumed that having multiple roles is distracting, depletes resources, and results in role strain and overload. With regard to work family roles, when employees try to carry these competing demands out while being embedded in traditional workplaces that are designed to support separation of work and family demands, they are likely to experience higher work-family role conflict.

Greenhaus and Beutell wrote one of the earliest theoretical articles on work-family conflict. They defined work-family conflict as a type of inter-role conflict where work and family roles are incompatible and seen as competing for an individual's time, energy, and behaviors on and off the job. Their work built on earlier role theory by Ebaugh and others who defined a role as involving behavioral expectations associated with a position in a social structure.

For example, having to work overtime on a job and being forced to miss a child's school event is an example of time-based work-to-family conflict. However, being absent from work because a babysitter did not show up is an example of time-based family- to- work conflict. For the overtime example, an organization might allow for just in time worker scheduling to allow those workers with the most interest in overtime to volunteer. In the other example, managing overtime wouldn't solve the babysitter not showing up. Helping the employee find back-up care for emergencies or letting them work from home once in a while in emergencies would.

An example of energy-based family-to-work conflict is when an employee is too tired to work well in the morning because he or she was up all night with an ill spouse. An example of energy- based work to family conflict is when someone is too tired to cook dinner or clean the house, because of working too intensely on the job. In order to promote work- family balance to promote better energy allocation between roles, in the first example, the firm needs to provide dependent care support or leave from work. In the second example, the firm might need to increase staffing levels so the workload is dispersed among more workers, or provide stress management techniques that allow workers to take breaks.

A final set of studies focus on the processes of balancing relationships between work and family. Some writers focus on compensation- how having a better role quality and higher identity in one domain such as the work role may compensate for lower role quality and investment in another domain such as family. For example, an individual who highly identifies with work might invest more in work roles to compensate for a less fulfilling family life.

Other writers might focus on segmentation and integration processes, the degree to which individuals have preferences for keeping work and personal roles segmented or integrated. Job and organizational design can interact with preferences for the enactment of life roles and management of the work and family boundary. A study by Kossek, Lautsch, & Eaton on teleworking found that individuals who teleworked and adopted an integrative boundary management style were likely to experience higher work to family conflict but not family to work conflict than individuals who adopted a separation style. Their study showed that the more the workplace is brought into the home via job and organizational design, the more likely it increases work-to- family conflict, particularly for individuals who like to integrate work and family.

Cross-over effects are another new area of study: how the work-family balance of one family member such as a wife or husband may transfer over positive and negative relationships to the other spouse. For example, if a spouse has a good or bad day at work the balance of the partner may be affected.


  • Work-family conflict and work-related withdrawal behaviors by David W. Neubauer; Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing; (2001)
  • The Penn Foster Career School Home Inspector Program by Larry Vickers; Publisher: Prentice Hall; (July 15, 2002)

Unfortunately, you earned a failing grade on this first-attempt submission. According to the Academic Policies in the Penn Foster Student Handbook, you must prepare a retake submission. Since the goal of this course is to help you improve your writing, you will continue working with your current submission, completely revising and editing it at all levels. Merely applying the instructor's corrections in grammar, spelling, or format does not show sufficient evidence that you have improved your skill level and therefore will not result in a change to your grade.

Review these textbook page references as well as Chapters 3-8 and the study-unit discussions related to writing a how-to essay. The following are key revisions you must make to ensure a passing grade on your retake. If you do not understand how to rewrite your essay in order to accomplish these goals, please contact the school.

  • Purpose: Explain to your fellow Penn Foster College students the steps you take to make time for studying (342-343).
  • Strong thesis: State a specific thesis which identifies your approach to balancing studies and your life along with the value of that approachits importance or benefits (331, 343, 344).
  • Effective introduction: Write an interesting opening that engages your fellow students, establishes common ground with them/provides background information, and includes your thesis (332, 335, 347).
  • Tone and consideration of audience: Use an appropriate tone (347).
  • Well-developed reasons and specific steps: Provide your fellow students with the reason(s) for each how-to step or group of related steps (333, 345-346).
  • Anticipate trouble spots and offer solutions (333-334).
  • Incorporate specific personal experiences with narration and/or illustration (211, 296). Use appropriate process transitions to guide your reader (331-332, 347).
  • Satisfying conclusion: Provide a satisfying conclusion beyond the last step, reminding your fellow students of the value or importance of the process to them or some other final thought (335, 347).
  • Editing and proofreading:

Please be aware that the free essay that you were just reading was not written by us. This essay, and all of the others available to view on the website, were provided to us by students in exchange for services that we offer. This relationship helps our students to get an even better deal while also contributing to the biggest free essay resource in the UK!