Work-life boundary management styles of women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia: “Choice” or imposition?

M.L. van Engen, Konjit Hailu Gudeta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to explore the work-life boundary management experiences and challenges women entrepreneurs face in combining their work-life responsibilities.
Design/methodology/approach
In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia using a grounded theory approach to investigate how they manage the boundaries between their work-life roles, the challenges they face and how these challenges affect their boundary management experiences.
Findings
Integration, as a work-life boundary management strategy, is imposed on women as a result of normative expectations on women to shoulder care and household responsibilities, as well as to fulfill societal roles and obligations. In addition, challenges related to managing employees at home and at work frequently require women to combine work and life roles, forcing them to integrate even more.
Practical implications
The findings of this study underline the need to recognize the work-life interface challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and to develop programs and hands-on training to help them adopt work-life boundary management tactics. In addition, it is hoped that the findings will inform policies and women entrepreneurship development programs designed by the government, development partners and other stakeholders.
Originality/value
This paper contributes to the work-family literature by highlighting the contextual and environmental factors imposing work-family boundary management styles on women entrepreneurs in the Sub-Saharan country of Ethiopia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-386
JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • BALANCE
  • CAREER SUCCESS
  • CONFLICT
  • Ethiopia
  • FAMILY INTERFACE
  • GENDER
  • HOME
  • INTEGRATION
  • NORMATIVE BELIEFS
  • SELF-EMPLOYMENT
  • SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
  • Women entrepreneurs
  • Work-life boundary management
  • Work-life integration

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