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Health and work locus of control during women managers' careers

Tuija Muhonen (Faculty of Culture and Society, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 23 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine subjective health among women managers and professionals during their careers. Further, the role of work locus of control (WLC) for women managers' health is analyzed in a longitudinal perspective.


This is a follow‐up study among 38 women managers and professionals who participated in an earlier investigation in 1996. Data were collected by means of interviews and two short questionnaires.


The results of the analysis showed that nine women had maintained their health during their career, whereas others had various health problems and some women had also suffered from burnout syndrome. There was no significant change in WLC between the two investigations. The healthy women were characterized by stability in their WLC beliefs, rather than externality or internality.

Research limitations/implications

Even though the results are based on a limited number of participants, the study points out factors that can be crucial for women managers' and professionals' health. Further research is needed to corroborate the findings in the study.


The paper contributes further understanding of factors that are important for professional women's health. It also suggests that the role of WLC beliefs for health might be more complex than the internal‐external dimension.



Muhonen, T. (2011), "Health and work locus of control during women managers' careers", Gender in Management, Vol. 26 No. 6, pp. 419-431.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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