Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 134, Issue 2, pp 249–261 | Cite as

A Discovery of Early Labor Organizations and the Women who Advocated Work–Life Balance: An Ethical Perspective

  • Simone T. A. Phipps
  • Leon C. Prieto


“Work–life balance” (WLB) is a relatively modern expression. However, there is no novelty in the core concept, as resistance to excessive incompatibility between work roles and personal roles has a history that predates contemporary struggles for a decline in unnecessary work–life conflict. The authors of this manuscript aim to convey a portion of this history by instilling, from an ethics perspective, an awareness of the efforts of early labor organizations, including labor unions, and a social organization that addressed labor issues. They will also communicate the resolve of key individuals, especially women, including labor leaders and activists, who contributed to labor reform and served as early proponents for WLB. In addition, implications and suggestions for practice and future inquiry will be provided.


Work–life balance International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) Women’s Trade Union League Russell Sage Foundation Pauline Newman Margaret Dreier Robins Mary Abby Van Kleeck 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middle Georgia State CollegeMaconUSA
  2. 2.Clayton State UniversityMorrowUSA

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