A Sponsored Initiative

What Managers Need to Know

1996 / Location: Merck World Headquarters, Whitehouse Station, NJ

The field research for this conference, which was covered by The Wall Street Journal, involved participants investigating the skills managers need to create work environments that support the performance of employees in all parts of their lives.

Based on the findings from this and the two prior conferences, Stew Friedman, Jessica DeGroot, and Perry Christensen compiled and edited the first collection of teaching materials on integrating work and the rest of life, Integrating Work and Life: The Wharton Resource Guide. Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer (1998).  The book includes educational resources to:

  • Enhance workplace satisfaction
  • Improve productivity
  • Boost commitment
  • Aid recruitment efforts
  • Reduce absenteeism and turnover

It helps employees and employers learn to:

  • Clarify life priorities and examine choices
  • Communicate clear vision, goals, and performance expectations
  • Act in a way that is consistent with their values
  • Create trust, goodwill, and common ground
  • Value what employees bring to the business from their multiple life roles
  • Question assumptions and encourage creative experimentation in the way work is done

Friedman, DeGroot, and Christensen also published in 1998 a Harvard Business Review article on the basis of this research, Work and life: the end of the zero-sum game.


Perry Christensen, Merck / Organizer
Jessica DeGroot, Independent Consultant / Organizer
Stew Friedman, The Wharton School / Organizer

Lynn Ingenhuett-Quinn, University of Pennsylvania / Intern
Stacy Kim, University of Pennsylvania / Intern
Anne Leader, University of Pennsylvania / Intern
Vicky Banach, AT&T
Paula Caproni, University of Michigan
Michelle Carpenter, Aetna Life
Maureen Harvey, Simmons College
Susan Hofman, Allied Signal
Donna Klein, Marriott International, Inc.
Ellen Ernst Kossek, Michigan State University
Mary Dean Lee, McGill University
Sharon Lobel, Seattle University
Shelley MacDermid, Purdue University
Susan Thomas, Cigna
Cynthia Thompson, Baruch College, SUNY
Faith Wohl, United States Government, Office of Workplace Initiatives