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The Implications of Contractual Terms of Employment for Women and Leadership: An Autoethnographic Study in UK Higher Education

Institute of Education, University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire RG1 5EX, UK
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Academic Editor: Dirk van Dierendonck
Adm. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci7020020
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 7 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
This article is concerned with the implications of casual, non-permanent forms of employment that have become a common cultural practice in higher education. It proposes that contractual terms of employment have important implications for women and leadership in higher education, since to pursue leadership, usually one must first gain permanency in an organization, in contractual terms. Based on an autoethnographic study by a female academic in a UK higher education institution, the article illustrates that temporary forms of employment, should they be protracted, can stifle leadership aspirations due to lack of career progression opportunities and lead to a sense of alienation from the target community of practice, and even to personal difficulties, such as feelings of isolation and poor self-esteem. The article discusses theoretical and practical implications for women’s leadership arising from the findings and makes recommendations for improvements in practice in the higher education sector. The findings and recommendations from this study will also be relevant to other organizational contexts where casual or temporary, fixed term, zero-hours non-permanent forms of employment are common. View Full-Text
Keywords: autoethnography; higher education; women; leadership; identity; habitus; communities of practice autoethnography; higher education; women; leadership; identity; habitus; communities of practice
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vicary, A.; Jones, K. The Implications of Contractual Terms of Employment for Women and Leadership: An Autoethnographic Study in UK Higher Education. Adm. Sci. 2017, 7, 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci7020020

AMA Style

Vicary A, Jones K. The Implications of Contractual Terms of Employment for Women and Leadership: An Autoethnographic Study in UK Higher Education. Administrative Sciences. 2017; 7(2):20. https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci7020020

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vicary, Anne; Jones, Karen. 2017. "The Implications of Contractual Terms of Employment for Women and Leadership: An Autoethnographic Study in UK Higher Education" Adm. Sci. 7, no. 2: 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci7020020

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