Managing Multiple Identities: A Qualitative Study of Nurses and Implications for Work-Family Balance

by Spanier, Claire Marie

Abstract (Summary)
The ways in which people manage organizational, professional, and familial identities can have significant implications for work-family balance. This is particularly true for nurses, who have a strong sense of professional identity and may be likely to experience work-family tensions. By framing work-family tensions as related to identity, we can see the ways in which being a good employee, a good nurse, and a good family member are both complementary and contradictory. This study highlights ways in which being good employee facilitates and hinders an individuals ability to be a good nurse. Furthermore, it demonstrates how being a good nurse can complement and contrast what it means to be a good family member. Furthermore, this study reveals the importance of ones peer group in the construction of identity. This study offers several theoretical implications pertinent to the field of organizational communication as well as practical implications for health service organizations. Among other things, this study provides empirical evidence that reinforces the communication-identity relationship. Furthermore, it reveals ways in which the boundaries between identities are often blurred. It also presents practical implications for reducing burnout and volunteer turnover in nurses. In particular, it suggests ways in which organizations and nursing educators can work with organizational, professional, and familial identities to create policies and practices that improve work-family balance.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Gregory S. Larson; Dr. Christina Yoshimura; Dr. Kathy Kuipers

School:The University of Montana

School Location:USA - Montana

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:communication studies


Date of Publication:07/23/2007

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