Feminisation of the medical profession: A strategic HRM dilemma? The effects of family-friendly HR practices on female doctors' contracted working hours
Number of pages
SourceHuman Resource Management Journal, 21, 3, (2011), pp. 285-302
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
Human Resource Management Journal
SubjectInequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
Health-care institutions face a strategic HR dilemma. They need to attract female doctors from a tight, feminised labour market by offering family-friendly HR practices (e.g. part-time employment), often based on collective labour agreements, while trying to contain their labour costs by employing as many full-timers as possible. In this study, we investigate which family-friendly arrangements serve health-care institutions' HR strategies best in terms of retaining female doctors' working hours. Data collected in 2008 from 1,070 Dutch female doctors indicate that offering family-friendly HR practices such as flexible working hours (in contrast to part-time working) minimise the strategic HR dilemma, since it offers scope for improving the work–life balance without encouraging female doctors to work less hours. However, the effect of family-friendly arrangements on working hours is dependent on the family-friendly workforce philosophy: only with proper support for career goals do women using family-friendly arrangements work more hours.
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