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  • BJM_paper_accepted_Jan_2014

    Rights statement: This is the pre-print version of the following article: Gatrell, C. J., Burnett, S. B., Cooper, C. L. and Sparrow, P. (2014), Parents, Perceptions and Belonging: Exploring Flexible Working among UK Fathers and Mothers. British Journal of Management, 25: 473–487. doi: 10.1111/1467-8551.12050 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-8551.12050/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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Parents, perceptions and belonging: exploring flexible working among UK fathers and mothers

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Management
Issue number3
Volume25
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)473-487
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This paper advances knowledge regarding how fathers and mothers perceive and experience flexible working opportunities. It does this through applying the theoretical concept ‘belonging’ to ‘Parsonian’ classifications of parenting and work. In so doing it makes transparent the misconceptions and inequities which exist among parents and their organizational environments. Focusing initially on a qualitative study of fathers’ experience of working flexibly, the paper shows how fathers felt marginalized from the possibilities of flexible work due to line managers’ assumptions that men belonged to an ‘instrumental’ economic provider group. The paper contributes a new angle to debate by articulating how fathers perceived employed mothers as belonging to an ‘expressive’ child-oriented group, with privileged access to flexibility. However, drawing upon a study of maternity and flexible work we query fathers’ assumptions that flexibility was easily available to mothers, suggesting that fathers’ perceptions of maternal privilege were misconceived. While mothers were categorized as belonging within an ‘expressive’ group associated with childcare, they were nevertheless discouraged from accessing flexibility. Inequities between women and men (with regard to flexibility) thus appeared to be less significant than fathers supposed.

Bibliographic note

This is the pre-print version of the following article: Gatrell, C. J., Burnett, S. B., Cooper, C. L. and Sparrow, P. (2014), Parents, Perceptions and Belonging: Exploring Flexible Working among UK Fathers and Mothers. British Journal of Management, 25: 473–487. doi: 10.1111/1467-8551.12050 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-8551.12050/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.