The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has played a pivotal role in developing this new field of work-family scholarship by providing the only source of sustained funding for researchers in sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science, labor economics and industrial relations to conduct interdisciplinary research on issues faced by working families.
Prior to the start of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation program in 1994, social science research was bifurcated into the study of work or family. Little, if any, research examined the intersection of work and family. The Sloan Foundation has charted a dramatically new direction for scholarship by developing a program grounded in the notion that the rise in dual-earner households has led to a social and economic evolution.
More than 330 Sloan grants resulted in the publication of more than 600 peer-reviewed articles, over a third of which appeared in the top journals of their respective disciplines, and more than 100 scholarly and commercial books. Through Sloan’s establishment of six Centers on Working Families, each of which had a strong training component, the first generation of work-family scholars was created, with over 180 completed doctoral degrees and 70 post-doctoral fellowships. Nearly 60 percent of these scholars now hold tenure-track positions or tenured lines, ensuring subsequent generations of researchers focused on work-family issues.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has funded a comprehensive program impact analysis to ensure that the contributions of its Workplace, Work Force and Working Families program are sustained and remain accessible to the research, policy and business communities. Coming November 15, 2010, the program impact analysis will detail both the scope and breadth of Sloan-funded research in this program.
Much of the work from the research program has been collected and is now available through Boston College’s Sloan Work and Family Research Network, widely recognized as the premier online destination for current, credible, and comprehensive research and information on work and family issues, which serves a global community of academics, workplace practitioners, and state public policy makers.
The Alfred P. Foundation provided funding for six academic Centers on Working Families. These Centers and related projects have generated academic research that is relevant in both breadth and scope. The Emory Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life, The UCLA Center on Everyday Lives of Families, The Center on Parents, Children and Work (1997-2003), The Center for Working Families at the University of California, Berkeley (1998-2002), the Cornell Careers Insititute (1996-2003) and the MIT Workplace Center (2001-2008).
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has funded more than 100 authoritative books beginning in 1997 with Arlie Russell Hochschild’s groundbreaking book, The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work through the recently released Workplace Flexibility: Realigning 20th-century Jobs for a 21st-century Workforce by Kathleen Christensen and Barbara Schneider.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit, grant-making institution. Its Workplace, Work Force & Working Families program has funded a 15-year strategic initiative integrating empirical research on the challenges facing today's working families with effective business practices and practical public policy solutions. Its National Workplace Flexibility Initiative is a collaborative effort to make workplace flexibility a compelling national issue and a standard of the American workplace.