Work–life balance is shaped not only by how individuals manage their personal demands and resources but also by stressors and work–life balance support mechanisms from external environment encompassing multilevel social systems. Our systematic literature review focuses particularly on the role of work–life balance support drawing on 384 journal articles and book chapters published between 1960 and 2019 across five research disciplines, including management, applied psychology, industrial relations, family studies, and sociology. We make four major contributions to the literature, including (1) conceptualising work–life balance support from a process-oriented perspective pertinent to a virtuous cycle of resource investment and return drawing on the conservation of resources theory and the personal resource allocation framework; (2) adopting a multilevel approach that construes the interactions in terms of resource changes between individuals’ work–life experiences and their surrounding social systems nested at multiple levels applying the socio-ecological theory; (3) 2 proposing a multidimensional typology that differentiates the role of actual existence versus subjective perception of support mechanisms as inspired by social support literature; and (4)advocating a pluralist, multi-stakeholder approach to comprehending and reconciling multiple stakeholders’ shared and competing interests around provision/utilisation of support mechanisms based on insights from multidisciplinary literature. Our process-oriented,multilevel, and multidimensional framework conceptualises the critical role of work–life balance support in iterative interactions between individuals and their multilevel social environment through resource changes and reality–perception transformation. This conceptual framework also underscores the importance of pluralist thinking, context specification, and cost-effectiveness analysis for future research.
- work–life balance support
- systematic literature review
- multilevel multidimensional process-oriented model
- multidisciplinary research