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Taking stock of work-family initiatives: How announcements of "family-friendly" human resource decisions affect shareholder value


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  • Michelle M. Arthur
  • Alison Cook
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    This study examines share price reactions to 231 work-family human resource policies adopted by Fortune 500 companies and announced in the Wall Street Journal between 1971 and 1996. Consistent with past research, the results suggest that firm announcements of work-family initiatives positively affected shareholder return. The authors also empirically test three hypotheses concerning how the timing of work-family initiatives influences shareholder reaction. They find that a pioneering company announcing the first-ever implementation of a work-family initiative was likely to realize a larger announcement-day share price increase than did later adopters of the same initiative; the first work-family announcement released by a firm influenced announcement-day share price more than did successive work-family announcements by the same firm; and share price reactions to work-family human resource decisions were not importantly affected by whether those decisions followed a gender discrimination suit. (Author's abstract.) (Free full-text download available at

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 57 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 599-613

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:57:y:2004:i:4:p:599-613

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    Cited by:
    1. Ali Fakih, 2014. "Availability of Family-Friendly Work Practices and Implicit Wage Costs: New Evidence from Canada," CIRANO Working Papers, CIRANO 2014s-33, CIRANO.
    2. Fakih, Ali, 2014. "Availability of Family-Friendly Work Practices and Implicit Wage Costs: New Evidence from Canada," IZA Discussion Papers 8190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2008. "Accommodating Families," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics 2008-004, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
    4. Gregorio GuitiƔn, 2009. "Conciliating Work and Family: A Catholic Social Teaching Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 88(3), pages 513-524, September.
    5. Antonopoulos, Rania, 2009. "The unpaid care work : paid work connection," ILO Working Papers, International Labour Organization 427404, International Labour Organization.


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