Work-family conflict for employees in an East Asian Airline: Impact on career and relationship to gender

Catherine Wah-hung Ng, Patricia Fosh, Dawn Naylor

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This article contributes to the limited research on the conflict between work and family demands experienced by women in East Asia. It focuses, in particular, on the impact of work-family conflict on women's organizational careers. The article reports the findings of a case study of 'East Asian Airlines' (EAA), a flagship company located in Hong Kong. The case study employed questionnaire and in-depth interview surveys that included both women and men. The study found a sharp decrease in the number of women, especially women with families, in EAA's higher grades. Indeed, women were absent from the top grades. This finding, coupled with the finding that men with dependent children had relatively greater experience of work-family conflict, suggests that this sharp decrease may be due to women with family responsibilities quitting EAA employment. Alternatively, this decrease may be due to women lowering their career ambitions and not seeking promotion to higher grades in anticipation of intolerable work-family conflict if they pursue ardently their organizational careers. The study compares and contrasts work-family conflict experiences of women in EAA with those reported for women in the West, and assesses the impact of differences between eastern and western societies in terms of the perception of women's role at work and in society, societal emphasis on equal opportunities and availability of help for domestic duties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-105
Number of pages39
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Career ambition
  • Chinese culture
  • Family-friendly policies
  • Gender
  • Work-family conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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