Sub-theme 42: Women and Work: Effective Designs, Satisfying Relationships

Anna Nikina
Grenoble Ecole de Management, France
Lois M. Shelton
California State University, Northridge, USA
Séverine Le Loarne
Grenoble Ecole de Management, France

Call for Papers


Women across cultures and nations are united by the desire to live lives of daring and passion in their love, family and work, but face different societal and cultural contexts that force them to design their lives accordingly. Examining how women manage and organize their lives and relationships in respect to their spouses and other key stakeholders, and how these designs vary across nations and cultures, promises to yield insights into the challenges they face and the choices they make as they strive to achieve and to maintain a satisfying balance between all of the areas of their lives.

It is the aim of this sub-theme to investigate how women around the world integrate work with other important roles and relationships in their lives. Konek et al. (1994) found the actions and attitudes of a woman's family and the personal relationship with her spouse rank as the third and fourth highest factors (out of fifteen factors researched) affecting a woman's occupational success. Motivation to succeed and hard work were the only factors outweighing family and relationship factors.

Work, which is defined broadly, includes entrepreneurial, corporate and non-profit settings, and the lives of women at all levels of the career ladder are viable subjects. It is likely that one of the focus areas in the discussion would be women entrepreneurs, given the wide range of options available to these women to actively design or shape the interface between their work and non-work roles and relationships. Due to the worldwide growth of women as both employees and business owners, research which facilitates the integration of the home and the career lives of these women is of major significance (Lewis 2006; Lo & Wright 2003; Shelton, 2006).

We invite both conceptual and empirical contributions from authors from different parts of the globe that illuminate the work-life balance of career women and female entrepreneurs and how their support networks, and the key stakeholders in their lives, impact that balance. Perspectives from a wide range of social science disciplines are welcome, including but not limited to: psychological and marital contracts, role conflict and role accumulation, gender ideology, career theory, family business theory, sociology, and human resource management.

One possible direction would be to examine cross-cultural differences in the influence of women's careers, business lives and entrepreneurship on the marriage dynamic. Nikina (2010) and Nikina, Shelton & Le Loarne (2009) have examined this topic in the Scandinavian context, and welcome insights on the relationship dynamics of other nationalities and cultures. By advancing scholarly collaboration among researchers from a variety of global perspectives (e.g. cross country comparisons between nations in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America; established economies and developing countries; regions perceived strong in female equality and areas with limited women's rights), one goal of this sub-theme is to facilitate international research collaborations with the hope of producing an edited volume or special issue of a journal in the future.

The following topics are of interest but the list is not exhaustive:

  • Cross-cultural angles and fresh perspectives on the work-life balance of female entrepreneurs and career women
  • Studies including the perspective of the husband, children and/or elderly parents
  • Stakeholder relationships, designs of personal relationships
  • New theoretical approaches in work-life research
  • Methodological innovations and cross-cultural measures
  • Research involving international comparisons
  • Impact of differences in institutional support, and the relative social and educational status of women on marriage and relationship dynamics

We look forward to receiving your submission!


Konek, C.W., S.L. Kitch & E.R. Shone (1994): "The future of women and careers: issues and challenges." In: C.W. Konek & S.L. Kitch (eds.): Women and Careers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 234–248
Nikina, A. (2010): How does the wife's role as an entrepreneur impact the husband's role as a leader and a provider? Doctoral dissertation, Grenoble Ecole de Management, France, and Tongji University School of Economics and Management, China
Nikina, A., L. Shelton & S. Le Loarne (2009): The husband of an entrepreneur – traditional leader or modern follower? Presented in Chicago at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2009
Lewis, P. (2006): "The quest for invisibility: Female entrepreneurs and the masculine norm of entrepreneurship." Gender Work and Organization, 13 (5), 453–459
Lo, S., P. Wright & R. Wright (2003): "Job-family satisfaction and work-family conflict among female married professionals in Hong Kong: a dichotomy of attitude and outlook." International Journal of Employment Studies, 11 (2), 25–45
Shelton, L.M. (2006): "Female entrepreneurs, work–family conflict, and venture performance: New insights into the work–family interface." Journal of Small Business Management, 44 (2), 285–297


Anna Nikina Anna Nikina, DBA is Head of Projects for the Chamber of Commerce in Finland. She also holds faculty appointments at the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki and the Grenoble Ecole de Management in France. A former entrepreneur, her research interests include (female) entrepreneurship, internationalization of companies, psychological contracts and innovation management. An active participant and session/forum organizer at Academy of Management (AOM) and EGOS conferences internationally.
Lois M. Shelton Lois M. Shelton, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Management at California State University, Northridge. Her nearly ten years of corporate experience informs her current research in work-life balance, women entrepreneurs and role theory. She has actively participated in EGOS and served as track chair at national and international conferences.
Séverine Le Loarne Severine Le Loarne, Ph.D. is Associate Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management. She specializes in innovation management and organizational creativity, publishing articles in Research Journals and textbooks (Pearson Education). An EGOS Member, has served as a track chair at national (AIMS) and international conferences (AOM). Research focus: trust creation process.