Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of top leaders beliefs in the importance of work-family balance as a key determinant in explaining the adoption of social practices oriented toward internal stakeholders, focussing on home telework as one of these practices. Design/methodology/approach – A sample of 2,388 top executive officers reported the senior leaders belief favoring work-family balance by completing a new scale developed for this purpose asking how much key decision makers were convinced of the value to employees of supportive family-friendly HR practices, modeled how to balance work and family life, and felt a personal commitment to implement family-friendly practices. They also reported the firm’s provision of telework and organizational characteristics such as industry, multinational status, and firm size. Findings – Regression analyses revealed that firm’s provision of telework is more pervasive when its top leaders believe in the importance of work-family balance, even after controlling for firm context (industry, geographical dispersion, and size). More importantly, the authors also find that managerial beliefs augment the positive effect of instrumental factors on the provision of home telework. Practical implications – For practitioners, the most important message is that, while contextual and organizational features are important in the choice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices for employees, the conviction of senior leaders is absolutely essential. Originality/value – This study contributes to the leadership and CSR literature by suggesting that top leaders play a catalyst role in contexts where telework is instrumentally valued. If we conceive CSR for employees as not driven solely by utilitarian logic, it requires a different paradigm that includes leadership motives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management