A Multi-level Model of Care Flow: Examining the Generation and Spread of Care in Organizations
journal contributionposted on 18.06.2018, 00:00 by Emily Stiehl, Ellen E. Kossek, Carrie Leana, Quita Keller
Care is emerging as a key component of work processes that must be managed in organizations. We propose a model of care flow, which is defined as a multilevel work process through which caring feelings and actions are generated and spread throughout an organization to address the needs of its members. Our model (a) distinguishes between the generation and spread of care as concepts, (b) specifies the three cyclical stages and multilevel mechanisms (at dyadic, collective, and organizational system levels) through which caregivers and care recipients act together to enhance flow in a work system, and (c) argues that care is inherently relational and emotional. Most importantly, we argue that both caregivers and care recipients shape the reproduction of care in our model, which addresses a gap overlooked by many organizational theorists. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.