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The impacts of work-life-balance (WLB) challenges on social sustainability: The experience of Nigerian female medical doctors

Rahman Mushfiqur (Brunel Business School, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK)
Chima Mordi (Brunel Business School, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK)
Emeka Smart Oruh (Brunel Business School, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK)
Uzoechi Nwagbara (Business School, University of Sunderland, London, UK)
Tonbara Mordi (Worcester Business School, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK)
Itari Mabel Turner (Brunel Business School, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 30 May 2018

Issue publication date: 8 August 2018

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1565

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of work-life-balance (WLB) challenges for Nigerian female medical doctors. This study focusses on Nigeria, which its peculiar socio-cultural, institutional and professional realities constitute WLB as well as social sustainability (SS) challenge for female medical doctors.

Design/methodology/approach

Relying on qualitative, interpretivist approach and informed by institutional theory, this study explores how Nigeria’s institutional environment and workplace realities engender WLB challenges, which consequently impact SS for female doctors. In total, 43 semi-structured interviews and focus group session involving eight participants were utilised for empirical analysis.

Findings

The study reveals that factors such as work pressure, cultural expectations, unsupportive relationships, challenging work environment, gender role challenges, lack of voice/participation, and high stress level moderate the ability of female medical doctors to manage WLB and SS. It also identifies that socio-cultural and institutional demands on women show that these challenges, while common to female physicians in other countries, are different and more intense in Nigeria because of their unique professional, socio-cultural and institutional frameworks.

Research limitations/implications

The implications of the WLB and SS requires scholarship to deepen as well as extend knowledge on contextual disparities in understanding these concepts from developing countries perspective, which is understudied.

Originality/value

This study offers fresh insights into the WLB and SS concepts from the non-western context, such as Nigeria, highlighting the previously understudied challenges of WLB and SS and their implications for female doctors.

Keywords

Citation

Mushfiqur, R., Mordi, C., Oruh, E.S., Nwagbara, U., Mordi, T. and Turner, I.M. (2018), "The impacts of work-life-balance (WLB) challenges on social sustainability: The experience of Nigerian female medical doctors", Employee Relations, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 868-888. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-06-2017-0131

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited