n Gender and Behaviour - Work-family conflict and coping strategies adopted by women in academia




Work-family conflict and integration has been examined quite often in human resource management and industrial/organizational psychology literature. As employees attempt to balance work demands and family responsibilities, organizations will have to decide to what extent they will go to minimize this conflict. This study examined the kinds of work-family conflict experienced by female married professionals with children in both the academia and banking sector, and the coping strategies they had adopted. The academia and banking sector are traditionally known as a "male" field ; hence women are not usually welcomed with open arms.

The approach taken in this study was to conduct indepth interviews with two hundred (200) female professionals in both the academia and banking sector. Six (6) universities (state, federal and private) were selected on one hand, and on the other hand, four (4) banks (both old and new generation) were also selected. The study focused especially on the experiences of academic women at both the junior and senior faculty levels of their careers on one hand, and women bankers at both the middle and top levels of their managerial cadres on the other hand. Several unsettled issues related to the day-today experience of work and family roles were investigated. How multiple role juggling, task demands, personal control, and goal progress affected mood in work and family roles. A ground theory analysis disclosed the centrality of conflicts between work and home roles in participants' account.


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