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Two sides of the same coin : The experiences of high-achieving women in the Swedish workplace

Wolontis, Felicia and Hoff, Eva LU (2018) In High Ability Studies 29(2). p.191-211
Abstract

Adopting a qualitative approach to the investigation of high achievement, the authors analyzed how high-achieving women in the Swedish workplace made meaning of positive and negative experiences in their work. The data consisted of interviews with 15 women identified as being high achieving in their respective field, and it was analyzed using grounded theory methodology. The women described five distinct experiences that highlighted both the bright side and the dark side to high work performance: (1) going the extra mile in their work, (2) reaching for career goals, (3) experiencing flow and a love for work, (4) working independently and taking the road less traveled, and (5) having high standards and aiming for perfection. The... (More)

Adopting a qualitative approach to the investigation of high achievement, the authors analyzed how high-achieving women in the Swedish workplace made meaning of positive and negative experiences in their work. The data consisted of interviews with 15 women identified as being high achieving in their respective field, and it was analyzed using grounded theory methodology. The women described five distinct experiences that highlighted both the bright side and the dark side to high work performance: (1) going the extra mile in their work, (2) reaching for career goals, (3) experiencing flow and a love for work, (4) working independently and taking the road less traveled, and (5) having high standards and aiming for perfection. The empirical findings relate to existing research literature on grit, work engagement, flow, and burnout. Implications for employers who want to retain and develop high achievers are discussed. The findings suggest that high-achieving women experience it as personally meaningful to engage in high-performance behavior as long as the benefits experienced outweigh the costs, and they are able to do their work on their own terms.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Achievement, grounded theory, interviews, Sweden, working women
in
High Ability Studies
volume
29
issue
2
pages
191 - 211
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:85049983503
ISSN
1359-8139
DOI
10.1080/13598139.2018.1498324
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
32117ba3-bd96-41a3-994b-6b40b72aa077
date added to LUP
2018-08-01 10:34:55
date last changed
2019-01-16 13:24:48
@article{32117ba3-bd96-41a3-994b-6b40b72aa077,
  abstract     = {<p>Adopting a qualitative approach to the investigation of high achievement, the authors analyzed how high-achieving women in the Swedish workplace made meaning of positive and negative experiences in their work. The data consisted of interviews with 15 women identified as being high achieving in their respective field, and it was analyzed using grounded theory methodology. The women described five distinct experiences that highlighted both the bright side and the dark side to high work performance: (1) going the extra mile in their work, (2) reaching for career goals, (3) experiencing flow and a love for work, (4) working independently and taking the road less traveled, and (5) having high standards and aiming for perfection. The empirical findings relate to existing research literature on grit, work engagement, flow, and burnout. Implications for employers who want to retain and develop high achievers are discussed. The findings suggest that high-achieving women experience it as personally meaningful to engage in high-performance behavior as long as the benefits experienced outweigh the costs, and they are able to do their work on their own terms.</p>},
  author       = {Wolontis, Felicia and Hoff, Eva},
  issn         = {1359-8139},
  keyword      = {Achievement,grounded theory,interviews,Sweden,working women},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {191--211},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {High Ability Studies},
  title        = {Two sides of the same coin : The experiences of high-achieving women in the Swedish workplace},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13598139.2018.1498324},
  volume       = {29},
  year         = {2018},
}