Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



To say that interest in work-family conflict has increased is an understatement. With the number of dual-earner households increasing, the diversification of the workforce, and women quickly moving into industries that were once primarily male-dominated, the work-family literature is filled with various intonations of the concept. Drawing on insights from social identity and self-categorization theories, this dissertation examined how supervisor-subordinate demographic similarity might relate to the provision of family-supportive supervision and work-family conflict. 102 members of a professional organization dedicated to women who work in technology were surveyed to evaluate whether or not supervisor-subordinate racial and gender similarity would predict family-supportive supervision. Group differences in work-family conflict between those who were similar to supervisors and those who were dissimilar from supervisors were examined. Additionally, participants were asked about work-to-family conflict and family-to-work conflict in order to test for a hypothesized mediation effect of family-supportive-supervision on the supervisor-subordinate similarity and work-family conflict relationship. Results provided support for the hypothesized model of racial similarity that predicted family-supportive supervision. Additionally, family-supportive supervision partially mediated the negative relationship between supervisor-subordinate similarity and work-family conflict. Results are thoroughly reviewed, and implications are discussed.



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Committee Chair

Robinson, Petra