Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Work-family balance among mothers who are mid-career student affairs administrators at institutions recognized for work-life policies
by Isdell, Laura, Ed.D., University of Kansas, 2016, 132; 10130103
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to understand the work-family balance experiences of mothers, in mid-career student affairs administrator roles, at institutions known for work-life supports. This study asked: how do these women describe their experiences managing work and family roles? What knowledge of existing work-life policies do these administrators have? How do these existing policies influence the perception of workplace culture and norms? How does perceived work-family balance influence the intended career trajectory, or desire for professional advancement, of those women? Through a qualitative research design, I explored the work-family experiences of 15 administrators through participant interviews. Several major findings were uncovered. First, the majority of these administrators saw themselves as the primary caregiver to their child. Second, work-life supports, such as flexible leave time and university run childcare, contributed to the women’s ability to manage the student affairs role with motherhood. Third, feeling supervisor support and flexibility to attend to personal responsibilities, as the women saw fit, contributed to workplace loyalty. Conversely, the absence of support and flexibility fueled a desire to seek employment outside of the institution. Fourth, when the participants’ perceived inequities existed related to who had access to flexible work arrangements, the feelings they expressed about their workplace were more negative, even when their own personal experience was positive. Fifth, women do not understand FMLA policies, which was specifically apparent in relationship to maternity leave. Finally, some policies have good intentions, but no actual impact. The best example was providing tuition remission for higher education, but only for bachelor’s degrees, a credential that was a job requirement when the administrators were hired into their existing roles.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wolf-Wendel, Lisa
Commitee: Roney, Marlesa, Rury, John, Twombly, Susan, Vitevitch, Michael
School: University of Kansas
Department: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- Kansas
Source: DAI-A 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Womens studies, Management
Keywords: Mid-career administrator, Student affairs administrator, Work-family balance, Work-life balance, Work-life policies, Work-life support
Publication Number: 10130103
ISBN: 978-1-339-87966-6
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