Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Workforce Development Education (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

Michael T. Miller

Second Committee Member

Kenda S. Grover

Third Committee Member

Adam A. Morris

Keywords

Education, Adult students, Boundary theory, Graduate students, Mba, Part-time MBA students, Work-family, Work-life

Abstract

Using the framework of boundary theory as applied to the work-life-school construct, the study focused on part-time MBA students who worked full-time, their tendency to segment or integrate their numerous roles, and the coping tactics they utilized in redistributing their efforts as they added graduate school to these roles. The research population consisted of a convenience sample of all first and second year Managerial MBA students enrolled at the University of Arkansas. A quasi-experimental research design was used to analyze the sample.

The results of the research indicated that the part-time graduate student who was employed full time faced specific work-home-school challenges that forced revision in work-life balance overall. The addition of a part-time MBA program to the life of a full-time employee created a tremendous amount of stress as boundaries were renegotiated. The addition of school as a third domain to the work-life construct appeared to force students toward an integration of boundaries in an attempt to complete added responsibilities.

A high percentage of students were classified as integrators based on responses related to the segmentation-integration continuum. Students tending toward segmentation on the continuum were more likely to actively set expectations regarding their boundaries and confront violators of those boundaries than were integrators. Responses to the open response question suggested that, despite the high proportion of integrators in the study, students often voiced a preference for segmentation and experienced stress based on the forced integration caused by ongoing demands at work, home and school.

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