22 SES 03 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
This study locates within the context of Finnish Higher Education. It originates from the tensions influenced by public sector reforms, organizational practices and individual efforts to find balance between work and non-work. The purpose is to look at university work and practices from the point of view of family-friendliness and greediness. While university workers are committed and find family-friendly characteristics, they experience conflict and strain from reconciling work and family. The case opens up an avenue to explore whether these features are related to social-cultural factors and will differ in other contexts.
The changes in the public sector have changed the nature of university work notably. The mobility of working in time and space has increased. In Europe, women continue to be under-represented in leading positions in scientific organisations (Husu 2009). Women have been majority among graduates from the 1990's and currently obtain over 40% of doctorates. 1/5 professors were women in EU-27 in 2006. 25% of Finnish university rectors were women in 2009, a higher proportion than in most European countries. In the departmental staffing in Finnish business schools there was great variation in the gender distribution (Hearn et al. 2009).
The family friendliness of organizations has been conceptualized for example as management, working time and career culture (Doherty & Manfredi 2006). The university work is gendered and there are obstacles of career advancement (Mayer & Tikka 2008): women’s advancement in the academic career slows down after the dissertation, family politic measures have not had an impact; there are big differences between disciplines. Typically a greedy organization: 1) makes excessive demands on loyalty and time; 2) effort to weaken the worker’s other bonds for other institution and persons and 3) effort to impact on the identities and roles so that they would internalize the values of their organizations (Burchielli et al. 2008).
In a study (Nikunen 2009) of work and family reconciliation, the requirement of university work was conveniently flexible from the family life's and occupational well-being's view. Research and teaching work was considered insecure and competitive. Meritocratic thinking and academic entrepreneurship were accepted despite negative consequences to equality and reconciliation. Women's careers suffering of having children was not seen as a discriminatory practice against women.
Burchielli, Rosaria, Bartram, Timothy, Thanacoody, Rani (2008) Work-Family Balance or Greedy Organizations? Industrial Relations 63:1, 108–133. Forster, Nick (2001) A case study of women academics’ views on equal opportunities, career prospects and work-family conflicts in a UK university. Career Development International 6:1, 28-38. Doherty, Liz & Manfredi, Simonetti (2006) Action research to develop work-life balance in a UK university. Women in Management Review 21:3, 241–259. Husu, Liisa (2009) NASTA research brief: Gendering Scientific and Technological Organisations. International Conference Leadership through gender lens, October 22-23, Helsinki. Hearn, Jeff etl al. (2009) NASTA research brief: Teaching on gender and staffing within three business schools. International Conference Leadership through gender lens, October 22-23, Helsinki. Mayer, A.L. & Tikka, P.M. 2008. Family friendly policies and gender bias in academia. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 30: 363-374. Nikunen, Minna (2009) Työn ja perheen yhteensovittaminen sekä yliopistotyön vaatimukset. Työelämän tutkimuspäivät 4.–6.11.2009, Tampere. Salmi, Minna & Lammi-Taskula, Johanna (toim.) (2004) Puhelin, mummo vai joustava työaika – Työn ja perheen yhdistämisen arkea. Stakes.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.