Emilia Kangas & Anna-Maija Lämsä (2020) Leadership practices in relation to men's work-family balance in Finnish organizations, Community, Work & Family, DOI: 10.1080/13668803.2020.1728231

Leadership practices in organizations play an important role in shaping the conditions for employees’ work-family balance. Previous research on the topic has mainly focused on women; fathers are said to receive little support from leadership for combining work and family. In this study, the focus is on men working in six Finnish organizations representing male-dominated, female-dominated and gender-balanced organizations. Although Finland is considered a frontrunner in gender equality globally, Finnish women still carry the main responsibility for housework and child-care. Through a discursive approach, we seek to answer the following research question: What kind of discourses do working men construct of leadership practices that affect their work-family balance? This study offers insights into the variety of understandings of how men’s work-family balance is constrained and/or supported through leadership practices. Our conclusion is that the gender composition and degree of hierarchy of an organization affect leadership practices regarding men’s work-family balance. A good relationship between leader and employee supports balance. Fatherhood seems to be handled differently from motherhood in leadership practices. The information produced in this study is not only important with respect to the quality of life of men and their families, but also necessary to advance gender equality in organizational life and society in general.