A qualitative exploration of a women's work-life balance over the life course : a case study of female managers.
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This study was a qualitative exploration of women’s work – life balance over the life course in retail management. Ten women who worked in the centre management of a mall in Durban were interviewed between June 2011 and August 2011. Through the use of thematic analysis, five themes were identified. These themes are: (a) the integration of work and life roles (b) the career as a learning process which is personally meaningful, (c) the retail industry and people dynamics (d) the value of time and (f) perceived autonomy among options for work and life development. The experiences of the participants were integrated with literature to arrive at an in depth understanding of the experiences of women’s work- life balance within retail. The findings suggest that work-life balance within retail is perceived as a subjective, continuous experience which changes over time. Moreover, there is integration of work and life roles. The study contributes to the evolving body of knowledge on work-life balance of women within the retail sector; it also provides a unique context specific perspective to the understanding of work- life balance.