From social support to capabilities for the work-life balance of independent professionals

Anne Annink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This qualitative study aims to explain how social support enables independent professionals to achieve work–life balance. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 50 independent professionals in the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. The interview data were analyzed from a capability approach, from which work–life balance is understood in terms of capabilities. The most important sources of social support for independent professionals appeared to be their partner, family, as well as work and nonwork-related friends who were able to provide emotional and instrumental support. However, the extent to which social support can be converted into capabilities is influenced by individual (gender and cohabitation), institutional (the ease of doing business and formal childcare), and societal factors (financial hardship and familialism). The cross-national comparison shows that the institutional and societal context may hinder or reinforce social support for work–life balance, resulting in different experiences across countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-276
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Management and Organization
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2016

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