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57 Indus. & Lab. Rel. Rev. 599 (2003-2004)
Taking Stock of Work-Family Initiatives: How Announcements of Family-Friendly Human Resource Decisions Affect Shareholder Value

handle is hein.journals/ialrr57 and id is 607 raw text is: TAKING STOCK OF WORK-FAMILY INITIATIVES:
HOW ANNOUNCEMENTS OF FAMILY-FRIENDLY HUMAN
RESOURCE DECISIONS AFFECT SHAREHOLDER VALUE
MICHELLE M. ARTHUR and ALISON COOK*
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 con-
cerning how the timing of work-family initiatives influences shareholder reac-
tion. They find that a pioneering company announcing the first-ever implemen-
tation 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 discrimina-
tion suit.

W ork-family programs have long been
considered innovative; however,
newer arguments suggest they should also
be considered a best practice (Perry-Smith
and Blum 2001). Work-family programs
may provide the infrastructure necessary to
attract the best human resources. Research-
ers have shown that such programs increase
firms' ability to attract and retain employ-
ees (Carmichael 1984; Grover and Crooker
1995; Thompson, Beauvais, and Carter
1997). Further, scholars have found that
work-family programs allow employees to
*Michelle M. Arthur is Associate Professor at the
Anderson Schools of Management, University of New
Mexico, and Alison Cook is Assistant Professor, Col-
lege of Business, Utah State University.

work more efficiently (Gannon, Norlan,
and Robeson 1983; Rothausen, Gonzalez,
Clarke, and O'Dell 1998). Consistent with
those results, researchers also have found
that work-family programs positively affect
perceived firm performance (Perry-Smith
and Blum 2001).
This study adds to our understanding of
the relationship between work-family ini-
tiatives and firm-level outcomes in several
ways. First, we add to a limited literature
A data appendix with additional results, and cop-
ies of the computer programs used to generate the
results presented in the paper, are available from the
first author at Anderson Schools of Management,
University of New Mexico, 1924 Las Lomas NE, Albu-
querque, NM 87131-1221; e-mail arthur@mgt.
unm.edu.

Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 57, No. 4 (July 2004). © by Cornell University.
0019-7939/00/5704 $01.00

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