Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Organizational Studies

Content Description

1 online resource (x, 131 pages) : PDF file, illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Janet H Marler

Committee Members

Thomas D Taber, Timothy D Golden


leadership, work-life, Executives, Leadership, Personnel management

Subject Categories

Business Administration, Management, and Operations


Managers' work-life supportive behaviors positively impact the usage of work-life programs, help reduce work-life conflict, and improve additional organizational and individual outcomes (e.g., job satisfaction, turnover intentions) (Foley, Linnehan, Greenhaus, & Weer, 2006). These behaviors include helping their subordinates rearrange their work schedules and encouraging subordinates' use of organizational work-life policies (e.g., flextime, job sharing, leave programs) (Mesmer-Magnus & Viswesvaran, 2006). While the benefits of such targeted leadership have been well studied, the predictors of managerial work-life supportive behaviors have received little attention. In this research, the trait and situational approaches to effective leadership are used as the basis for a theoretical model in which two traits and five situational variables are proposed as antecedents of managerial work-life supportive behaviors. Managers' empathetic personality and personal work-life philosophy are the two trait theoretical antecedents and the five situational antecedents are the organizations' work-life culture, leader-subordinate exchange quality, organizational centralization of authority, organizational formality, and employees' work-to-life conflict. To test this model, survey data from managers and their subordinates from a convenience sample of five diverse organizations were collected. Results support a hybrid leadership approach of both trait and situational factors as important predictors of managers' work-life supportive behaviors. One trait-based antecedent, the degree to which a manager is viewed as having an empathetic personality, was significantly related to managers' work-life supportive behaviors. The second key predictor, the situational antecedent of a manager's ratings of leader-subordinate exchange quality, also had a positive relationship with managers' work-life supportive behaviors. The third antecedent, the situational variable of the subordinate's work-life conflict, had a negative relationship with managers' work-life supportive behaviors. Implications for future research and for practitioners are discussed.