Les auteurs étudient l'effet du mariage à une personne qui travaille à l'extérieur sur la progression de carrière de l'individu dans l'entreprise.
More and more couples are working full-time in Canada giving rise to the dual career phenomenon. On the other hand, more and more social scientists are doing research on careers from different points of view including the one adopted in this study; that is, the organizational point of view. Since working couples, and especially dual-career couples, are more numerous, it seems appropriate to study their potential effects on organizational life. We know almost nothing about the impact on an organization of having members of dual career couples, in terms of performance, job satisfaction, absenteism, turnover, etc. Rapoport and Rapoport (1978) noted the absence of the employer's point of view in research on working couples. There are a few exceptions. Rosen et al (1975), Berger and Wright (1977) and Le Louarn and DeCotiis (1982) have studied the effect of a dual-career status on several personnel decisions within organizations. The results of the empirical studies suggest that being a member of a dual-career couple could be a hindrance when it cornes to making important decisions like hiring, promoting, relocating, etc. In those cases, employers belonging to a dual-career couple are perceived as a greater risk for an organization than a member of a single career family. It is feared that if the spouse does not like the new place, or finds another job somewhere else, the couple (including the newly hired or transferred employee) will leave the organization (Holmstrom, 1972).
Following these three studies, one can ask whether some of thèse decisions have an impact on the career progression of the manager when he or she is a member of a working couple. Mooney (1981) and Pfeffer and Ross (1982) have already shown the negative effect on salary of being married to somebody who works. The purpose of this study is to pursue this Une of research by studying the impact of a working couple status on managers' career progression using three different definitions of this construct. It is hypothesized that: (1) the more a spouse works outside home, the less is the manager's salary, hierarchical level and number of promotions obtained when the effect of certain variables is controlled; (2) the effect of the working spouse on these three variables will be different according to the manager's sex and whether he or she works in the public or private sector. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire sent to managers from Quebec as part of a larger study conducted by the last two authors. The data from the public sector corne from ail segments of the governmental bureaucracy. Those from the private sector corne from a chain of retail food stores. Data were collected at two different periods of time in 1982 and represent ail the hierarchical levels of the organization. The total sample size is 2324 (1817 from the public and 507 from the private sector). The results show that the salary level of the respondents is negatively related to the working spouse status. That is, when the effects of age, education, spoken language (English or French), sex, civil status (married or not), sector (public or private), hierarchical level, number of promotions, number of employers, length of service and global performance are controlled, the manager who is married to a working spouse has significantly lower salary that the one who is married to somebody who does not work outside the house. Having a working spouse, however, has no significant effect on the manager's hierarchical level on his or her number of promotions. When the sample is divided into two parts, the results of the multiple regression shows that the negative effect on salary is only true in the public sector and for the men only. Different explanations for these results results are presented and suggestions are made for future research on the effect of dual-career couples on organizational life.
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