ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT, JOB COMMITMENT AND WORK- FAMILY CONFLICT AMONG WORKING MOTHERS IN UNIVERSITIES IN LAGOS STATE

ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT, JOB COMMITMENT AND WORK- FAMILY CONFLICT AMONG WORKING MOTHERS IN UNIVERSITIES IN LAGOS STATE

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ABSTRACT

Women in many cultural settings are responsible for taking care of the children, the husband and the home.  Women were predominately housewives and men were breadwinners before the entrance of women into the labor market.  Times have changed and women today are Chief Executives Officers and are represented in all walks of life.  This has not excluded them from their roles as mothers, wives and caregivers.  The working mother is presently faced with conflict arising from her work and family life.  These challenges are more predominant in a cultural setting like Nigeria, where there is a divide between the roles of a man and the woman.  The organizational support, which is the form of encouragement from the employer, job commitment which is seen as the obligation of the employer and the employee and work-family conflict which is considered struggle between work and family responsibilities were consider as the main variables of this study.

The study employed the survey design.  The population of the study is working mothers in universities in Lagos State. Lagos State University and Caleb University were purposively selected. A sample size of 266 working mothers was calculated with the use of Taro Yamane’s formula. Validated questionnaire and interview guide were used in collecting data. Reliability test of the questionnaire yielded a Cronbach’s Alpha value of 0.616 for organizational support, 0.664 for job commitment and 0.795 for work-family conflict. Of the copies of the questionnaire administered, 214 were retrieved.  Key informant interviews were conducted with senior official of both universities who are supervisors of working mothers. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential. The descriptive analysis used percentage count for the bio-data while inferential analysis tested the correlation between the variables.

The findings revealed that there is significant relationship between organizational support and work-family conflict among working mothers(r = 0.358, p<0.05). Again, there is significant relationship between job commitment and work-family conflict among   working mothers (r = 0.450, p<0.005) showed a significant and positive relationship. The analysis revealed that 63.5% majority of the respondents in Lagos State University (LASU) and 64.8% in Caleb University do not understand that organizational policies are directed at them as working mothers to encourage them. In addition work-family conflict affected working mothers in Caleb University more than their counterparts in LASU as 54.8% of them spent 7 to 8 hours at work daily while in Caleb University, 63.7% spent 9 to 10 hours at work daily.

The study concluded that work family conflict affects working mothers in the private universities more than their counterparts in the public universities.  The study recommends that all organizations should make their policies documented and assessable. The government should come up with a policy on six (6) months maternity leave for all nursing mothers in both private and public sector.

Keywords: Organizational Support, job commitment, work-family conflict, working mothers,                         balanced life.

ABSTRACT

Women in many cultural settings are responsible for taking care of the children, the husband and the home.  Women were predominately housewives and men were breadwinners before the entrance of women into the labor market.  Times have changed and women today are Chief Executives Officers and are represented in all walks of life.  This has not excluded them from their roles as mothers, wives and caregivers.  The working mother is presently faced with conflict arising from her work and family life.  These challenges are more predominant in a cultural setting like Nigeria, where there is a divide between the roles of a man and the woman.  The organizational support, which is the form of encouragement from the employer, job commitment which is seen as the obligation of the employer and the employee and work-family conflict which is considered struggle between work and family responsibilities were consider as the main variables of this study.

The study employed the survey design.  The population of the study is working mothers in universities in Lagos State. Lagos State University and Caleb University were purposively selected. A sample size of 266 working mothers was calculated with the use of Taro Yamane’s formula. Validated questionnaire and interview guide were used in collecting data. Reliability test of the questionnaire yielded a Cronbach’s Alpha value of 0.616 for organizational support, 0.664 for job commitment and 0.795 for work-family conflict. Of the copies of the questionnaire administered, 214 were retrieved.  Key informant interviews were conducted with senior official of both universities who are supervisors of working mothers. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential. The descriptive analysis used percentage count for the bio-data while inferential analysis tested the correlation between the variables.

The findings revealed that there is significant relationship between organizational support and work-family conflict among working mothers(r = 0.358, p<0.05). Again, there is significant relationship between job commitment and work-family conflict among   working mothers (r = 0.450, p<0.005) showed a significant and positive relationship. The analysis revealed that 63.5% majority of the respondents in Lagos State University (LASU) and 64.8% in Caleb University do not understand that organizational policies are directed at them as working mothers to encourage them. In addition work-family conflict affected working mothers in Caleb University more than their counterparts in LASU as 54.8% of them spent 7 to 8 hours at work daily while in Caleb University, 63.7% spent 9 to 10 hours at work daily.

The study concluded that work family conflict affects working mothers in the private universities more than their counterparts in the public universities.  The study recommends that all organizations should make their policies documented and assessable. The government should come up with a policy on six (6) months maternity leave for all nursing mothers in both private and public sector.

Keywords: Organizational Support, job commitment, work-family conflict, working mothers,                         balanced life.

       CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1.      Background to the Study

Women in many cultures are seen as basically responsible for taking care of their children and husband. They give birth to children, rear them and provide the necessary comfort for the man.    It is believed in most cultural settings especially in Nigeria that the man as head and bread winner should go out to fend for his family while to woman is to treat him as a king when he comes back.  Some cultures especially in developing countries still believe that it does not worth training the girl-child in western education. This is because of the archaic notion that a ‘woman’s education ends in the kitchen’. The girl-child of today becomes the mother tomorrow, so the training and preparation given to the girl-child today determines who the mother of tomorrow will be.  The holy book, the Bible in Genesis 3: 16 says that the desire of a woman shall be of her husband and he shall rule over her. Therefore, many people see a woman as somebody that should not be ambitious and does not have a life of her own. Women were seen as second class citizens and as such were not given their rightful position in the society.  In some organizations, they were not employed into some key positions because they were seen as being weak.

Women were predominately house wives until the World War II, when they were needed to fill the gap in the industries (Acemoglu, Autor and Davis 2004). Even after the war, when men came back to the industries, women continued to be engaged in organizations. Again the western education of the girl-child has brought women to the limelight.  It became obvious that women could favourably compete with their male counterparts. However, the facelift in the representation of women in the different walks of life comes at a high price and sacrifice paid by mothers.  The responsibility of taking care of the home, husband and children is seen as the sole responsibility of the woman in many cultural settings today. This gives the woman more responsibilities than necessary. The economic and social changes in the contemporary environment have brought additional responsibilities and a new dimension to the roles played by women.

This change in the predominant role of women in the society also has great impact on their husbands.  In Africa, before the education and entrance of women into different careers, some house chores were the exclusive preserve of women. Unfortunately, times are changing, in most homes; some men now take up those responsibilities in order to keep the home moving. Although, this is not still accepted in some cultures but it cannot be compared with the situation before the twenty first century.

Employee - friendly organizations have done so much to encourage the working mothers in their organizations to succeed in their various jobs and at the same time enjoy a good family relationship. This is in recognition of the important roles the mothers play both in the society and their various families. The nature of the organization determines the kind of support and the satisfaction that will be enjoyed by the employees.  According to research findings by Mauno, Kinnunen and Feldt (2012), in the paper mill, mothers benefited more from high work-family support than fathers, while in Information Communication Technology (ICT) Company, fathers benefited more than mothers.  Thus high work-family support was associated with higher job satisfaction among mothers in the paper mill and among fathers in the ICT Company.  Some of these organizations see these supports as ways of encouraging their employees while others see them as ways of ensuring a better life for the next generation.  This is because, when a woman fails in her responsibility of raising good children, the society suffers it since the children will become nuisance to their environment.

This study intends to consider the conflict working mothers experience in Lagos State because of the uniqueness of the society.  Lagos State is the former capital of Nigeria and also presently the commercial capital of Nigeria.  It is known to be densely populated with heavy traffic. Lagos had a population of about 25 million as at 2015. Lagos has experienced tremendous growth from a population of about 1.4 million in 1970 to 25 million in 2015. The State generates about 25% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria.  It is the most economically viable state in Nigeria (World Population Review, 2015).  The large and diverse population in Lagos State is as a result of heavy migration from other parts of Nigeria. Lagos is the home for women from different cultural backgrounds in Nigeria.  Again there are working mothers in the private and public sectors in Lagos State.  Some “Lagosians” leave their homes as early as 5 am and do not get back to the home even as late as 10 pm.  It is interesting to state that some of these people are working mothers. 

Organizational support is “Employees’ perceptions about their organization’s support to them. It influences worker’s commitment to the organization (Salim, Sadruddin and Zakus 2012).  This suggests that it is what an organization gives to the employees that it receives. In a research by Salim et al (2012), it reveals that the performance of staff was significantly related with the organizational support and commitment.  Some of these supports include organizational fairness, supervisor’s support, support from colleagues and extrinsically satisfying job conditions.  In some cases, the organization might not be intentional about some of these supports, because it has become an organizational culture but it goes ahead to help the employees to be committed.  Female supportiveness like time off to attend doctor’s appointments, job security for pregnant women, not missing out on promotion because of pregnancy/maternity leave, reassignment from jobs that will not harm the foetus, working not more than forty hours without pay reduction have been found important to working mothers (Metcalfe, Vekved and Tough, 2014).

The organisation and the employee both have responsibilities towards each other. This is based on Social Exchange Theory (Blau, 1964); (Emerson, 1976) and Norm of Reciprocity (Gouldner, 1960).  Reciprocity is a social norm that says that “people should help those who have helped them” and that “people should not injure those who have helped them” (Gouldner, 1960, p. 171). Considering the theory above, it is important for both the employee and the employer to reciprocate each other’s commitment to ensure the realization of the organizational goals.  Any workforce that is not satisfied cannot work effectively.

 Gutrerrez, Candela and Carver (2012) see job commitment as the organizational rela





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