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Job sharing as a tool for flexible work systems: Creating opportunities for housewives in the Indian labor market

Mahima Thakur (Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi, India)
Anjali Bansal (MICA Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India)
Rashmi Maini (Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi, India)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 11 April 2018

Issue publication date: 24 July 2018

1579

Abstract

Purpose

Women experience insurmountable work life balance challenges, which are the reasons a large percentage of women leak out of the workforce pipeline. Flexible work systems empower women to contribute in meaningful ways to their personal and professional lives. Job sharing is one such strategy of flexible work system, which is proposed as an empowering management practice. This paper aims to create a model of empowerment for housewives. Non-working housewives are the most neglected lot of society in terms of getting their dues.

Design/methodology/approach

For the purpose of this study, qualitative study was conducted and data were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Focus group discussions with 266 housewives were conducted to find out their reasons of not joining the full-time workforce, and their willingness to contribute, if they have any. In-depth interviews of nine HR managers were also conducted to assess the openness of the corporate side toward job sharing as a work design. The paper has significance for the corporate as well as for the social and government agencies.

Findings

Qualitative data collected from 266 housewives presented three core themes – the bottlenecks to employment, the available opportunities of employment and growth and their preferred status of employment. The qualitative data further revealed that though they can easily do with some more money at their disposal, they cannot join in the full-time workforce as they have family responsibilities. They were willing to put in half a day’s work. Thus, the investigators recommended job sharing for them, which would engage this talented human resource and give them back their due for selflessly giving in their most productive years to their families. The interviews of nine HR managers from three multinational companies revealed the skillsets of these housewives as the major concern for putting them back on work.

Originality/value

The paper has significance for the corporate, women as the contingent workforce and social and government agencies.

Keywords

Citation

Thakur, M., Bansal, A. and Maini, R. (2018), "Job sharing as a tool for flexible work systems: Creating opportunities for housewives in the Indian labor market", Gender in Management, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 350-366. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-08-2016-0149

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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