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Title: Gendered flexible working practices : negotiating time and work in two UK asset finance organisations
Author: Griffiths, Heather
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 025X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores how gender is embedded in flexible working practices in two UK asset finance organisations. Drawing on feminist theories of time and work, this study deconstructs how employees negotiated flexible working practices both inside the organisation and in the home. It asks how gender affects employees’ access to flexible working practices and how the characteristics of the finance culture shape their experiences of flexible working. The findings contribute to the sociological work-life balance literature by showing how employees’ subjective constructions of gender shape the way they negotiate time and work, both in the workplace and in the home. This qualitative study draws on data produced during 26 interviews with employees from two UK based asset finance companies. The data was interpreted through a conceptual framework which incorporates feminist social theories of negotiation, time and the ideal worker. These distinct but complementary theories support a feminist poststructural epistemology which recognises meanings and experiences as contextually constructed. This thesis argues that gender was embedded in the way employees negotiated their flexible working practices, where negotiations were informed by masculine constructions of time and work, which were normalised within the asset finance culture. This argument comprises of three interweaving conclusions. Firstly, subjectively constructed gendered norms around work and care were fundamental to how employees negotiated flexible working practices with their managers, colleagues, family and social networks. Secondly, managers’ attitudes towards flexible working practices were subjectively constructed and changed over time, depending on their own work-life balance, their perception of business needs and their internalisation of gender norms. Thirdly, these organisations had constructed a unique cultural understanding of time which combined institutionalised working time and accelerated financial time, where both were founded on masculine experiences of work. This study shows how gendered norms are embedded in the everyday actions and interactions which initiate and sustain flexible working practices. This research contributes to theoretical and practical understandings of how gender norms are embedded in flexible working practices and the subsequent impact on the worklife balance of employees.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman