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    Current trends in work life issues

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    Weigh the relative pros and cons of current trends to expand the scope of consideration of work-life issues. Include such topics as ethics, social responsibility, and workplace spirituality. Be sure to consider this question in relation to HRM as a strategic business partner.

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    "January 15 2005 - Employee support programs are vulnerable to elimination in times of economic downturn due to bottom-line-only decisions according to Susan Lambert, Associate Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.

    In a new book, Work and Life Integration: Organizational, Cultural and Individual Perspectives, co-edited by Susan Lambert and Ellen Ernst Kossek, Lambert argues that the business case for providing workers with supports for their personal lives is currently outdated and needs to be changed. "The field's quest to make a business case may have come at a cost," Lambert said. "Many early, formal employee supports largely operate as employer supports. They were designed to help workers keep their personal responsibilities from interfering with their job involvement and performance. The more time you spend with your children, the less time you're likely to have for your work."

    Lambert considers that this attitude is slowly changing. In particular, a group of not-for-profit organizations concerned with work and family issues has begun to argue that the business case should be addressed at the bigger picture and move from "a narrow focus on short-term profitability to a longer-term strategy of investing in employee and community well-being."

    For example, programs such as on-site day care have been offered and promoted by some businesses as a means to improve profitability by reducing employee absenteeism and turnover, said Lambert, who, along with doctoral student Elaine Waxman, also reports on research conducted in Chicago-area corporations ...