A Qualitative Study: Faculty Mothers and Identified Barriers Influencing Motivation: Experiencing Tenure in Higher Education
Florida Southern College
A Qualitative Study on Faculty Mothers and Identified Barriers Influencing Motivation: Experiencing Tenure in Higher Education This phenomenological study addresses the influence of identified barriers on the motivation of working mothers on the tenure track in higher education. Specifically, this study explored the barriers of work-family culture, family-work balance, tenure clock policies, and reentry into the workplace after maternity leave. Barriers in the workplace for mothers on the tenure track at higher education institutions have been addressed in the literature (Larson et al., 2019; Mason & Goulden, 2004; Ward & Wolf-Wendel, 2016; Young, & Wright, 2001). This dissertation expands the research on motherhood to include Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory on motivation and explore the motivational influences of identified barriers on mothers in the workplace. Three research questions were addressed: What factors are motivating to mothers pursuing tenure at a college or university? How do identified barriers influence maintenance factors in the workplace for mothers on the tenure track at a college or university? What influence has motherhood had on job motivation of mothers at a college or university? To best address the research questions, a phenomenological approach was used to gather rich descriptions of participant experiences, developing into four meaningful themes, and better understand this shared phenomenon (Creswell, 2018). Mothers detailed accounts of successes and challenges working on the tenure track at a college or university and the influence on their job motivation. Results from this research study include positive and negative experiences in the workplace with internal and external work factors which contribute to the motivation of each mother on the tenure track at a college or university. Four themes emerged from the data providing a rich understanding of the passion and performance of work-related tasks, comradery between colleagues and administrators, work climate factors, policy and benefits, and the balance of motherhood in terms of societal and institutional expectations, as each mother details their experience and the influence on job motivation. The concluding discussion on the workplace factors and motivational influence for mothers recommends policy considerations and administrative growth for higher education institutions in support of working mothers on the tenure track. Keywords: phenomenology, Fredrick Herzberg, motivation, tenure, higher education, mothers.
Dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education in the School of Education at Florida Southern College by Christa Mary Jodon.
Educational leadership, Womens studies, Occupational psychology
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