2014 Call for Papers

Changing Work and Family Relationships in a Global Economy

call for papersThe Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN) invited submissions for the 2014 Conference, Changing Work and Family Relationships in a Global Economy, held from June 19-21, 2014 at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City. We sought fresh and innovative scientific contributions on work and family issues from investigators in diverse disciplines. We valued all disciplinary perspectives on the issues, including, but not limited to, anthropology, business and management, economics, family studies, political science, psychology, public health, social work, sociology, and related fields. The voices of all stakeholders were needed to understand and address work and family issues to advance knowledge and practice. We also encouraged policy advocates, policy makers, and work-life practitioners to submit evidence-based contributions. New for 2014 was the addition of practitioners to the program committee, in an effort to encourage practitioner and policy-oriented submissions and promotion of researcher and practitioner/policy maker collaboration.  Also new was organizing the meeting to kickoff with a preconference of meetings of Early Career Scholars, WFRN officers, committees, and member volunteers on June 18.

Speakers for the 2014 Conference included:
Tammy Allen, University of South Florida * Lotte Bailyn, MIT * Marian Baird, University of Sydney (Australia) * Shelley Correll, Stanford University * Pearl Dykstra, Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands) * Ellen Galinsky, Families and Work Institute * Jeffrey Greenhaus, Drexel University  * Jeff Hill, Brigham Young University * Arlie Hochschild, University of California Berkeley * Sue Lewis, Middlesex University (UK) * Phyllis Moen, University of Minnesota * Natalia Sarkisian, Boston College * Jennifer Swanberg, University of Maryland * Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Purdue University * and more!

Fresh and innovative submissions responsive to the conference theme of Changing Work and Family Relationships in a Global Economy were especially encouraged. The global economy is transforming the way work is done.  Work intensification and wide variation across societies in over- and under-employment is creating new issues for individuals, families, employers and nations. Advancing technology blurring work and home and social boundaries, the growing power of social media, and the coming of age of the "Digital Natives" are reshaping the fundamental meaning of "work," "family," and "life." Increasing globalization and the growing footprint of transnational companies and growing international work and social systems, requires looking both within and across cultures to understand changing work and family relationships. Indeed, cultural values surrounding gender, norms concerning collectivism and individualism in achieving the greater good, and national attributions as to whether work and family issues are best served by government, employer or individual initiatives require scientific and practical scrutiny and evidence-based debate.

Specific goals for the 2014 WFRN Conference were to:

  • Stimulate interdisciplinary and cross-national sharing of innovative research and approaches to work and family.
  • Concentrate scientific, policy, and practical attention on work and family issues emerging from the changing work and family relationships in a global economy.
  • Break down the researcher-practitioner divide impeding the design, implementation, dissemination and translation of work and family research that beneficially impacts workers and employers.
  • Engage WFRN officers, committees, and members in solidifying the foundation and building the infrastructure needed to create a vibrant, strong and impactful organization.
  • Foster opportunities for networking and interdisciplinary collaboration that promote professional development of both emerging and established researchers, policy makers and practitioners.

We invited submissions of papers, posters, and symposium proposals that address all aspects of work and family issues. Submissions focusing on basic research, policy evaluations (particularly those with an international focus), and illustrations of strong evidence-based applications in existing organizations served as the basic building blocks of the conference. However, we also encouraged "outside the box" submissions that include (but are not limited to): theory development; historical perspectives on work and family and how they inform the future; international comparisons; point-counterpoint perspectives on volatile topics; political analyses or policy evaluations; novel research strategies to work and family (e.g., action research, ethnography, new statistical techniques); and solutions for improving the translation of research to policy and practice. Examples of possible topics included (but were not limited to): alternative work arrangements; women's career opportunities; job performance; overwork; underemployment; precarious employment; nonstandard work shifts; lower wage work; stress, health and well-being; work-family conflict and enrichment; family leave; organizational policies; social media and the workplace; public policy; international comparisons; technology and implications for tethering or liberating workers; time use; aging and older workers; dependent care; after-school programs; and the global economy and its implications for work and family relationships. Work and family issues for special populations, including military families, immigrant families, single-parent families, racially and ethnically diverse families, and gay and lesbian families, were also welcome.

Consistent with our goal to advance, promote, and disseminate work and family research, and to encourage knowledge and understanding of work and family issues among a broad community of stakeholders, we welcomed proposals for innovative sessions such as the following: professional development of work and family scholars (e.g., research incubator sessions, methodological workshops, grant writing, publishing strategies); "going deeper" sessions that focus on surfacing invisible issues underlying work and family; delivering high-quality teaching and training in work and family issues; effective communication of research findings to distinct end-users (e.g., policy makers, organizational leaders); and translating research into organizational, community, and policy interventions.

Submission deadline was October 18, 2013.  

Conference Program 

2014 Conference Program Committee

WFRN Leadership