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Tribal women’s work-life balance: an identity-based approach

Tribal women’s work-life balance: an identity-based approach This paper aims to examine the work-life balance (WLB) experiences of tribal working women belonging to the matrilineal Khasi and Jaintia communities of Meghalaya, India, using an identity-based approach.Design/methodology/approachSemi-structured interviews conducted with 18 tribal women working in the formal sector helped generate descriptions of the subjective subliminal tensions they experienced in their efforts to balance work and home life.FindingsSix key themes emerged: webs of role-based responsibilities; reframing family around work; revising self-identity through work; challenges and coping tactics; traditional community influences on management of work and home life; and enacting womanhood as problem-solving.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to the literature on women and WLB in that it expands the theoretical understanding of the impact of identity work on women’s WLB.Practical implicationsA healthy WLB is crucial for enhanced intrinsic motivation and consequently women’s psychological empowerment and career satisfaction. This has important social and practical implications for enriching tribal women’s quality of life in India and facilitating their contribution towards the betterment of their communities and the economy at large. To this end, policymakers should launch awareness campaigns pertaining to tribal women’s WLB, to aid organizations in rolling-out contextually relevant work-life management programmes for these women.Originality/valueThis study extends an identity-based approach as a general theory of the self to examine matrilineal tribal women's WLB construction as a distinct form of “doing” and “being”. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Gender in Management An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Tribal women’s work-life balance: an identity-based approach

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References (66)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1754-2413
eISSN
1754-2413
DOI
10.1108/gm-07-2020-0219
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to examine the work-life balance (WLB) experiences of tribal working women belonging to the matrilineal Khasi and Jaintia communities of Meghalaya, India, using an identity-based approach.Design/methodology/approachSemi-structured interviews conducted with 18 tribal women working in the formal sector helped generate descriptions of the subjective subliminal tensions they experienced in their efforts to balance work and home life.FindingsSix key themes emerged: webs of role-based responsibilities; reframing family around work; revising self-identity through work; challenges and coping tactics; traditional community influences on management of work and home life; and enacting womanhood as problem-solving.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to the literature on women and WLB in that it expands the theoretical understanding of the impact of identity work on women’s WLB.Practical implicationsA healthy WLB is crucial for enhanced intrinsic motivation and consequently women’s psychological empowerment and career satisfaction. This has important social and practical implications for enriching tribal women’s quality of life in India and facilitating their contribution towards the betterment of their communities and the economy at large. To this end, policymakers should launch awareness campaigns pertaining to tribal women’s WLB, to aid organizations in rolling-out contextually relevant work-life management programmes for these women.Originality/valueThis study extends an identity-based approach as a general theory of the self to examine matrilineal tribal women's WLB construction as a distinct form of “doing” and “being”.

Journal

Gender in Management An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 21, 2021

Keywords: Work-life balance; Group-based identity; Identity-based approach; Matrilineal; Role-based identity; Tribal Indian women

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