Boundary management preferences from a gender and cross-cultural perspective

Tammy Allen, Barbara Beham, Ariane Ollier-Malaterre, Andreas Baierl, Matilda Alexandrova, Artiawati, Alexandra Beauregard, Vânia Sofia Carvalho, Maria José Chambel, Eunae Cho, Bruna Coden da Silva, Sarah Dawkins, Pablo Escribano, Konjit Hailu Gudeta, Ting pang Huang, Ameeta Jaga, Dominique Kost, Anna Kurowska, Emmanuelle Leon, Suzan LewisChang qin Lu, Angela Martin, Gabriele Morandin, Fabrizio Noboa, Shira Offer, Eugene Ohu, Pascale Peters, Ujvala Rajadhyaksha, Marcello Russo, Young Woo Sohn, Caroline Straub, Mia Tammelin, Marloes Van Engen, Ronit Waismel-Manor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although work is increasingly globalized and mediated by technology, little research has accumulated on the role of culture in shaping individuals' preferences regarding the segmentation or integration of their work and family roles. This study examines the relationships between gender egalitarianism (the extent a culture has a fluid understanding of gender roles and promotes gender equality), gender, and boundary management preferences across 27 countries/territories. Based on a sample of 9362 employees, we found that the pattern of the relationship between gender egalitarianism and boundary management depends on the direction of segmentation preferences. Individuals from more gender egalitarian societies reported lower preferences to segment family-from-work (i.e., protect the work role from the family role); however, gender egalitarianism was not directly associated with preferences to segment work-from-family. Moreover, gender was associated with both boundary management directions such that women preferred to segment family-from-work and work-from-family more so than did men. As theorized, we found gender egalitarianism moderated the relationship between gender and segmentation preferences such that women's desire to protect family from work was stronger in lower (vs. higher) gender egalitarianism cultures. Contrary to expectations, women reported a greater preference to protect work from family than men regardless of gender egalitarianism. Implications for boundary management theory and the cross-national work-family literature are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103943
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
StatePublished - Feb 2024

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© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


  • Boundary management
  • Cross-cultural
  • Gender
  • Gender egalitarianism
  • Work-family


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