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Work Life Quality - How young professionals manage work and life in the consulting industry

Janssen, Grace LU ; Worpa, Deser and Scharhag, Kathrin (2015) BUSN49 20151
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Purpose
The purpose of this study is to investigate how young professionals experience the phenomenon of work life balance (WLB) in the consulting industry and to explore how the differences in experience can be accounted for.

Relevance
Despite the widespread belief that consultants have a poor WLB, a great many newly graduates feel attracted to the consulting job. However, the literature claims that the young generation strives for a healthy WLB. By investigating on how these two contrasting facts can be linked, we wish to minimize the discrepancy in the literature and draw out implications for the Big Four consulting firms which heavily rely on the labor of young professionals.

Methodology
We approached this qualitative... (More)
Purpose
The purpose of this study is to investigate how young professionals experience the phenomenon of work life balance (WLB) in the consulting industry and to explore how the differences in experience can be accounted for.

Relevance
Despite the widespread belief that consultants have a poor WLB, a great many newly graduates feel attracted to the consulting job. However, the literature claims that the young generation strives for a healthy WLB. By investigating on how these two contrasting facts can be linked, we wish to minimize the discrepancy in the literature and draw out implications for the Big Four consulting firms which heavily rely on the labor of young professionals.

Methodology
We approached this qualitative research with an interpretive paradigm and conducted eleven interviews to gain an in-depth understanding of how young professionals relate to the WLB phenomenon. In addition to the hermeneutic approach, we took a critical stance by going beyond the literature on WLB and to account for the differences in experience.

Findings
The results suggest that the experience of WLB differs from individual to individual. However, we found four distinct orientations towards the experience of the WLB phenomenon within the group of young consultants. The peculiarity of the orientations is shaped by the young consultants’ personalities, level of previous work experience and the degree of sensitivity towards forces from the organizational context. Moreover, this study supports the necessity of re-conceptualizing WLB given the misleading implication of a 50:50 time, involvement and satisfaction distribution between work and life.

Keywords
Work life balance, management consulting, professionals, identity, boundary management, knowledge intensive firms (Less)
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author
Janssen, Grace LU ; Worpa, Deser and Scharhag, Kathrin
supervisor
organization
course
BUSN49 20151
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
language
English
id
7372043
date added to LUP
2015-08-05 14:49:04
date last changed
2015-08-05 14:49:04
@misc{7372043,
  abstract     = {Purpose	
The purpose of this study is to investigate how young professionals experience the phenomenon of work life balance (WLB) in the consulting industry and to explore how the differences in experience can be accounted for. 

Relevance	
Despite the widespread belief that consultants have a poor WLB, a great many newly graduates feel attracted to the consulting job. However, the literature claims that the young generation strives for a healthy WLB. By investigating on how these two contrasting facts can be linked, we wish to minimize the discrepancy in the literature and draw out implications for the Big Four consulting firms which heavily rely on the labor of young professionals. 

Methodology 	
We approached this qualitative research with an interpretive paradigm and conducted eleven interviews to gain an in-depth understanding of how young professionals relate to the WLB phenomenon. In addition to the hermeneutic approach, we took a critical stance by going beyond the literature on WLB and to account for the differences in experience. 

Findings	
The results suggest that the experience of WLB differs from individual to individual. However, we found four distinct orientations towards the experience of the WLB phenomenon within the group of young consultants. The peculiarity of the orientations is shaped by the young consultants’ personalities, level of previous work experience and the degree of sensitivity towards forces from the organizational context. Moreover, this study supports the necessity of re-conceptualizing WLB given the misleading implication of a 50:50 time, involvement and satisfaction distribution between work and life.

Keywords	
Work life balance, management consulting, professionals, identity, boundary management, knowledge intensive firms},
  author       = {Janssen, Grace and Worpa, Deser and Scharhag, Kathrin},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Work Life Quality - How young professionals manage work and life in the consulting industry},
  year         = {2015},
}