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ERIC Number: ED547848
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 162
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-4714-9
Should I Stay or Should I Go? Women's Midcareer Decision Process
Poole, Shelle A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Idaho
This grounded theory study was designed to understand the process for midcareer women to stay or exit their career. Midcareer women are an understudied population and this study was meant to provide theory that will begin to fill the gap. The literature suggests that, historically, career development studies have been based on men's development and career paths. This study was designed to focus on women, in their own words, without comparison to men. Additionally, some models, like Powell & Mainero's model (1992) would require adjustments because the women of this study were able succeed at work and their lives simultaneously, while other studies were supported, such as Jackson & Scharman (2002), where participants were able to find family friendly careers. In-depth interviewing was used to give voice to midcareer women's experiences. Understanding women's career development remains an important factor in retaining women within companies, and agencies. The analysis techniques for this study utilized methods from Glaser & Strauss, Strauss & Corbin, and Charmaz. Member checking was used to ensure that the proposed theory represented the participant's experience. The findings of this study indicate that midcareer women experience a triggering event that causes them to pause and determine what is important to them, which is considered the reflective period. During the reflective period they turn to partners, spouses, family, friends, co-workers and mentors to discuss what they wanted in their career futures. Some of the key themes the participants considered during the reflective stage were: what they desired in the workplace environment, what type of work assignments they were attracted to, and the priorities that guided their approach to work. Within each of these themed areas there are several factors they explored. Once they had explored these, a decision to stay or exit their career was made. The participants of this study were women in business in small, medium and large businesses or in the private sector of employment. None of the participants were employed in the public sector, such as state, local or national government. This study concludes with recommendations for considering other demographic groups of midcareer women, replication of the study for midcareer men, and a study focused on companies' receptivity to meeting the requirements of midcareer women. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A