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Great expectations in academia: realistic job previews on jobs and work-family balance

Katharine Ridgway O'Brien (Department of Psychology, Rice University, Houston, Texas, United States)
Michelle R Hebl (Department of Psychology, Rice University, Houston, Texas, United States)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 3 August 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to foster work-family balance goals by evaluating the utility of two types of video-based realistic job previews on creating accurate expectations among future academics.

Design/methodology/approach

The first realistic job preview divulged information specific to jobs in academia. The second divulged work-family balance information specific to academia. Participants viewed one of the two realistic job preview conditions or a third control condition in which they did not watch a realistic job preview. Participants then indicated their knowledge about job and work-family characteristics in academia and their changing expectations.

Findings

Results supported both types of realistic job previews as a way to communicate information about academia, and individuals also expressed changing their own expectations as a result of viewing the realistic job previews.

Originality/value

This study implemented a classic tool – the realistic job preview – to communicate work-family balance information in a new and dynamic way.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by NSF ADVANCE IT Grant 0542562 to Rice University. The authors would like to thank Jan Rinehart, Paula Sanders, Kathy Matthews and Julia Amborski for their assistance and support in this research.

Citation

O'Brien, K.R. and Hebl, M.R. (2015), "Great expectations in academia: realistic job previews on jobs and work-family balance", Gender in Management, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 457-478. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-02-2014-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited