Family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB) and work-family conflict: The role of stereotype content, supervisor gender, and gender role beliefs

Andrew Yu, Shaun Pichler, Marcello Russo, Leslie Hammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Existing research consistently shows that informal workplace support, such as family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB), are more effective at reducing work–family conflict than formal organizational supports. The purpose of this study is to integrate propositions from the stereotype content model and social role theory to understand how family-supportive supervision is related to social evaluations of supervisors (i.e., perceptions of supervisor warmth and competence) and identify boundary conditions (i.e., supervisor gender and employee gender role beliefs) to help researchers and practitioners understand how these relationships affect work–family conflict. We test our hypotheses using two studies, one an experimental vignette study and the other a two-wave survey study of working individuals with family or caregiving responsibilities. Our results suggest that FSSB are importantly related to how employees socially evaluate their supervisors along the dimensions of warmth and competence; supervisor gender moderates the relationship between FSSB and perceived competence (but not warmth); employee gender role beliefs moderates both these relationship (but in a counterintuitive way for supervisor competence); and we find evidence that warmth and competence mediate the effects that FSSB have on work–family conflict. Implications for theory, future research, and practice are discussed. Practitioner points: Supervisors and organizations should consider how employee perceptions of supervisor competence and warmth impact employee perceptions of family supportiveness. When enacting family supportive behavior, it is important for supervisors to demonstrate warmth, such as through nonverbal communication and body language. Family-supportive supervisor behavior (FSSB) interventions should consider manipulating not only dimensions of FSSB, but also behaviors tied to perceptions of competence and warmth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-304
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • competence
  • family supportive supervision
  • family supportive supervisor behaviors
  • gender
  • gender role beliefs
  • social evaluations
  • stereotype content model
  • stereotyping
  • warmth
  • work interference with family
  • work–family conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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