Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

The influence of leadership behavior on employee work-family outcomes: A review and research agenda

Document type Article
Author Li, Andrew
Author McCauley, Kelly Davis
Author Shaffer, Jonathan A.
Journal Human Resource Management Review
Volume 27
Date 2017 09
ISSN 1053-4822
Pages 458-472


Scholarly inquiries into the prominent role that leaders play in influencing their followers' work-family experiences have flourished in recent decades. Despite this encouraging progress, researchers have criticized the current state of the literature, lamenting that the study of leader behaviors in the work-family literature is either incomplete or oversimplified. To move the field forward, we conducted a systematic review of the literature to take stock of what we know, identify what is still unknown, and chart a path forward for future research. We organize the literature linking leadership to employees' work-family experience based on a four-category framework of leader behavior (task, relationship, change, and ethical/unethical). We summarize what effects leader behaviors may have on their followers, how such effects occur, and the boundary conditions of these effects. We conclude our review by identifying both theoretical and methodological gaps that can inform future leadership research in the work-family domain.