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Work-family conflict and the commodification of women’s employment in three Chinese airlines

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-03-04, 12:54 authored by Deborah Foster, Xiaoni Ren
In the East, where gender is mediated by different family structures, societal institutions and economic development, the work–family conflict (WFC) metaphor remains appropriate. This paper investigates Chinese women's experiences of WFC in the fastest growing commercial airline sector in the world. It finds that, in contrast to the West, work-to-family, rather than family-to-work, conflict dominates. Liberalization, competition and commercialization have also had a significant gendered impact on jobs. The latter resulting in the commodification of women's aesthetic and emotional labour, job segregation, employment insecurity, poor career opportunities and increased WFC. We explore reasons why HR policies and practices in airlines fail to address women's workplace concerns and find that occupational status and lack of organizational power, together with the prevalence of traditional gendered norms and attitudes, play important roles


Published in

The International Journal of Human Resource Management


Taylor & Francis


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Foster, D. and Ren, X. (2015) ‘Work-family conflict and the commodification of women’s employment in three Chinese airlines’, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26 (12), pp.1568-1585

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Management

Cardiff Met Authors

Xiaoni Ren

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Welsh Centre for Business and Management Research

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  • © The Publisher


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