Gender Differences In MBA Students: Work-life Balance, Opting Out and the Increasing Importance of Flexibility

By Jenny Keil and Karen A. Somerville.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The primary objective of this study is to explore the relationship between obtaining an MBA degree and the ability to achieve work-life balance and expectations of opting out. Results from a sample of 251 MBA students suggest that both men and women are placing considerable emphasis on flexible hours as an important job characteristic. Women are also more likely than men to drop out of the labor market before retirement. Results also suggest that men and women have similar expectations about the ability to work flexible hours and telecommute, women are more likely to opt out, and neither gender had strong expectations that the MBA degree will help achieve work-life balance.

Keywords: Work-life Balance, Gender Differences, Flexible Schedules, Telecommute, MBA Students, Labor Force Commitment

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 9, Issue 10, pp.41-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.191MB).

Dr. Jenny Keil

Associate Professor, School of Business, Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

Dr. Keil is on the faculty of Hamline University, School of Business. She holds a PhD and an MBA degree from the University of Kansas, and a BBA degree from the University of Michigan. The common theme throughout her research agenda is how women interact with and are impacted by the economy. In particular her research focuses on labor market issues such as individual/household work decisions, work/family balance issues and the impact of variable pay on the gender pay differential. Keil's first book Earn More, Move Up: A New Look at the Gender Pay Differential, was published by the Center for Economic Progress in November 2006.

Dr. Karen A. Somerville

Assistant Professor, Department of Management & Economics, School of Business, Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

Dr. Karen Ann Somerville earned her Ph.D. at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University in Ottawa, ON, Canada. She is currently an Assistant Professor with Hamline University’s School of Business in the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. Dr. Somerville’s main research interests include organizational culture, organizational change, organizational behaviour and women in management. With more than 25 years experience in senior management positions in the private sector, the public sector, as well as the not for profit sector, Dr. Somerville is able to blend the theory with practical applications in workplaces. This focus guides her research interests and ensures that her research provides value for organizations. As well, her students frequently comment that they value the “real life” experiences that Dr. Somerville brings to the classroom, in addition to the theoretical content.


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