Leadership scholars note that the relationship of employees with their supervisor is crucial for the work-family balance these employees experience. A good relationship with your supervisor can seriously improve your work-family balance. This is especially crucial is a healthcare setting, which is often characterized by long work days and night shifts. However, it seems unclear precisely how leadership influences various work-family dimensions. Using leader-member exchange (LMX) theory, we analyze which mechanisms are at play here. We hypothesize that high quality LMX positively influences work-family dimensions via different mechanisms, rather than one all-encompassing mechanism such as empowerment. Hypotheses are tested on survey data collected among a national sample of 790 Dutch healthcare professionals. Findings of structural equation modeling indicate that high quality LMX lowers work-family conflict, and that this is mediated via lower work pressure. Furthermore, high quality LMX has a positive effect on work-family enrichment. This relationship is mediated by enhanced meaningfulness of work. In sum, this study shows that leadership indeed affects work-family interferences in healthcare settings, and that different mechanisms are at play here, depending on the particular dimension of work-family interference analyzed.

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Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Tummers, L., & Bronkhorst, B. (2012). Examining leadership and its influence on work-family interferences among health care professionals: Multiple mechanisms at play?. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/37278