Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - IDPSF (Professionals and Parenthood in the Twenty-first Century)

The purpose of this project was to explore the following main research questions:
(1) How does parenthood impact professional identity negotiation and career prospects/expectations in different national contexts?
(2) How do parents in professional roles cope with work-life conflict?
By taking into account individual, organizational and country level factors, my study contributes to the development of better insight into the complex ways in which individuals manage identity and work-family conflict in time demanding, competitive, knowledge-intensive firms.

The IdPSF project was designed to be completed in a 24-month time period, from data collection to dissemination of results.

In terms of training, the project has achieved its main objective which was to supply or reinforce my knowledge directly related with the project objectives, with the following sub-objectives:

▪ Develop my knowledge of OB and HRM theories and methodologies applicable to my research.
▪ Advanced computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) (NVivo)
These two objectives were achieved through:
▪ External paying courses organized by NatCen Social Research: Qualitative research design, Reporting qualitative data, Interpreting and Writing Up your Qualitative Findings.
▪ In-house Courses organized by the Leadership & Staff Development Unit (City University): Introduction to NVivo 10 Software, Advanced NVivo 10, Public Speaking, Rapid Reading.

▪ Develop my capacity to build sound theory based on qualitative data
▪ Presenting, writing and revising articles for major academic journals
These two objectives were achieved through working with different academics on the production of academic papers.

As a notable result, I can point to a first publication. The data for this paper was mainly collected in France in the summer of 2014 (before moving to London). Prof. Laura Empson (the scientist in charge) joined me on this project as a co-author and we worked together on developing it and reviewing it for publication. This process taught me how to shape the argument in a convincing way and how to present the data to support my assertions. I am happy to say that this paper was accepted for publication in the special issue on professional service firms of the Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal. Our colleagues from the Management department were very helpful in providing feedback on an earlier draft during an internal brown bag seminar called “iShare” (January 2015) and at the seminar of the Centre for the Study of Professional Service Firms (CPSF) from Cass Business School. This last meeting gave me the opportunity to present my research to a diverse audience of academics and professionals.

During these last few months together with my co-authors, we submitted and reviewed a paper titled: “When the past comes back to haunt you: the enduring influence of upbringing on the work-life balance decisions of professional parents” to Human Relations. This paper is currently in second round and has good prospects of publication. We are also planning a press release on the main results of this paper. This paper is important because it offers new insights into the deep rooted causes of work-family conflict and gender inequality within professional service organisations.
Previous work-life balance research has focused more on the organisational context or on individual’s psychological traits to explain work and career decisions. However, our findings highlight the crucial role played by personal history. This is especially true when looking at early formative experiences - in the home and school and how these results differed between men and women.

During these last two years I also presented my work at several conferences (details in the dissemination section below). These conferences represented a great occasion to meet people I knew from the past, some colleagues from Romania and France, as well as develop my network and discuss possible collaborations. These conferences helped me maintain my relationships with both the field of Accounting and Management.

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United Kingdom
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