The use of mobile technologies for work-to-family boundary permeability: The case of Finnish and Canadian male lawyers
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CitationChoroszewicz, Marta. Kay, Fiona. (2019). The use of mobile technologies for work-to-family boundary permeability: The case of Finnish and Canadian male lawyers. Human relations, 73 (10) , 1388-1414. 10.1177/0018726719865762.
This article explores work–family interface and the use of mobile technologies (MTs) among male lawyers in Quebec (French Canada) and Finland – two civil law contexts with reputations for legislation friendly toward work–family balance. Drawing on 34 interviews with male lawyers and combining two theoretical lenses, shifting ideals of fatherhood and work–family boundary theory, our study shows how men’s preferences for work–family boundary management relate to diversifying models of fatherhood and family. In Finland, male lawyers more readily embrace family responsibilities and they strive to set firm boundaries to curtail work spilling over into family life. Yet, the cultural and professional norm of men as breadwinners remains strong, especially for Canadian male lawyers whose spouses more often assume primary responsibility for childcare. Our study offers qualitative markers of boundary management styles and strategies (spatial, temporal, and psychological) of male professionals – as struggling segmentors, struggling integrators, and integrators. We observe that senior male lawyers, living in more traditional family models, frequently model integrating behaviours, such as around-the-clock availability via MTs. This modeling establishes expectations of what represents a committed professional worthy of promotion. These practices play an important role in sustaining and reproducing gender inequalities in organisations that employ professionals