Recently, scholars have demonstrated the importance of Family Supportive Supervisor Behaviors (FSSB), defined as behaviors exhibited by supervisors that are supportive of employees' family roles, in relation to health, well-being, and organizational outcomes. FSSB was originally conceptualized as a multidimensional, superordinate construct with four subordinate dimensions assessed with 14 items: emotional support, instrumental support, role modeling behaviors, and creative work–family management. Retaining one item from each dimension, two studies were conducted to support the development and use of a new FSSB-Short Form (FSSB-SF). Study 1 draws on the original data from the FSSB validation study of retail employees to determine whether the results using the 14-item measure replicate with the shorter 4-item measure. Using data from a sample of 823 information technology professionals and their 219 supervisors, Study 2 extends the validation of the FSSB-SF to a new sample of professional workers and new outcome variables. Results from multilevel confirmatory factor analyses and multilevel regression analyses provide evidence of construct and criterion-related validity of the FSSB-SF, as it was significantly related to work–family conflict, job satisfaction, turnover intentions, control over work hours, obligation to work when sick, perceived stress, and reports of family time adequacy. We argue that it is important to develop parsimonious measures of work–family specific support to ensure supervisor support for work and family is mainstreamed into organizational research and practice.
This article uses meta-analysis to develop a model integrating research on relationships between employee perceptions of general and work-family-specific supervisor and organizational support and work-family conflict. Drawing on 115 samples from 85 studies comprising 72,507 employees, we compared the relative influence of 4 types of workplace social support to work-family conflict: perceived organizational support (POS); supervisor support; perceived organizational work-family support, also known as family-supportive organizational perceptions (FSOP); and supervisor work-family support. Results show work-family-specific constructs of supervisor support and organization support are more strongly related to work-family conflict than general supervisor support and organization support, respectively. We then test a mediation model assessing the effects of all measures at once and show positive perceptions of general and work-family-specific supervisor indirectly relate to work-family conflict via organizational work-family support. These results demonstrate that work-family-specific support plays a central role in individuals' work-family conflict experiences.
Drawing on a conceptual model integrating research on training, work–family interventions, and social support, we conducted a quasi-experimental field study to assess the impact of a supervisor training and self-monitoring intervention designed to increase supervisors' use of family-supportive supervisor behaviors. Pre- and postintervention surveys were completed, 9 months apart, by 239 employees at 6 intervention (N = 117) and 6 control (N = 122) grocery store sites. Thirty-nine supervisors in the 6 intervention sites received the training consisting of 1 hr of self-paced computer-based training, 1 hr of face-to-face group training, followed by instructions for behavioral self-monitoring (recording the frequency of supportive behaviors) to facilitate on-the-job transfer. Results demonstrated a disordinal interaction for the effect of training and family-to-work conflict on employee job satisfaction, turnover intentions, and physical health. In particular, for these outcomes, positive training effects were observed for employees with high family-to-work conflict, whereas negative training effects were observed for employees with low family-to-work conflict. These moderation effects were mediated by the interactive effect of training and family-to-work conflict on employee perceptions of family-supportive supervisor behaviors. Implications of our findings for future work–family intervention development and evaluation are discussed.
Due to growing work-family demands, supervisors need to effectively exhibit family supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB). Drawing on social support theory and using data from two samples of lower wage workers, the authors develop and validate a measure of FSSB, defined as behaviors exhibited by supervisors that are supportive of families. FSSB is conceptualized as a multidimensional superordinate construct with four subordinate dimensions: emotional support, instrumental support, role modeling behaviors, and creative work-family management. Results from multilevel confirmatory factor analyses and multilevel regression analyses provide evidence of construct, criterion-related, and incremental validity. The authors found FSSB to be significantly related to work-family conflict, work-family positive spillover, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions over and above measures of general supervisor support.