Exploring the relationship between work and non-work roles of parenting males at a higher education institution
In today’s society, there are two very important domains in the life of an employed individual, namely work and home. Within the home (or non-work) domain, different life roles emerge. These roles differ from one person to the next. Since both work and non-work roles encompass the individual's whole life, it is necessary to investigate what the different life roles are and how they influence an individual's multiple roles, whether positively or negatively. The objective of this study was to investigate the different roles that working fathers experience, to identify how these fathers experience the interaction between multiple roles, and the consequences of being involved in multiple roles. Since the dramatic changes within the economic, political and social climate has give rise to more women entering the workforce, a large amount of research has been dedicated to investigate the consequence of these changes within different spheres of life. However, this study foccussed on the different roles fulfilled by the parental male, specifically investigating working fathers at a higher education institution. A research design from a qualitative experimental approach was used to conduct this study. The participants consisted of 10 working fathers, who are lectures at a specific higher education institute and who differ with regard to age as well as educational and socioeconomic status. Semi-structured interviews 'with the selected participants were used to collect the necessary data. Content analysis was used to analyse, reduce and interpret the data obtained from the participants. The results indicated that the working fathers in this study has specific non-work (home domain) roles, namely roles regarding leisure, spirituality, leadership roles in the community, family (parental, extended family, spousal) as well as a work role and being a financial provider. Most of them fulfill all of the above-mentioned roles, which help them, for example, to buffer stress, to clear their thoughts by doing some type of sport, to be more patient various aspects of their life, and to help them -with better communication at home as well as at work. The interaction -within these multiple roles does however also affect them negatively, for instance participants find it difficult to place all their focus on their family when the workload is heavy. Some of them were used to taking work home, but since they have children, time after hours is too limited to work. The working fathers also mentioned that it is difficult to concentrate at work when there is tension at home or when finance is a concern.