Career-family attitudes of men and women in Lebanon: implications on dual-career choices

Project description

The purpose of this paper is to examine how women academics from the Arab Middle East enact their careers with reference to double-bounded contexts: academia as an institution encoding organizational career scripts and gender as another institution encoding specific gender roles. It is hoped that this cross-cultural perspective would broaden the understanding of careers beyond the economically advanced industrialized countries and better inform the current debate on the boundaryless career model.

The study is qualitative and exploratory in nature. It draws on one-to-one interviews with 23 female academics in early, mid and late careers, working in research universities in the Arab Middle East region.

The study demonstrated that the choice of academia as a profession is mainly driven by the subjective perception of an academic career as a calling, the lack of attractiveness of other career options in the region, and the appeal of the flexibility of academic work. Furthermore, the findings highlight both organizational (lack of mentoring and university support) and cultural factors (Islam, patriarchy, and family centrality) that shape/bind women's careers choices and patterns allowing thus for a better understanding of local constraints to the boundaryless career view in the Arab Middle East context.


First name Last name Gender Rank Affiliated Institution Country
Fida Afiouni Male Associate Professor American University of Beirut Lebanon

Bio: Fida Afiouni is an Associate Professor of Human Resource Management at the Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut, Lebanon. She obtained her Ph.D. in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University and was the recipient of the Sharjah award for the best doctoral thesis in administrative sciences in the Arab world for the year 2005. Her current research focuses on the interplay of HRM, careers, and gender in the Arab Middle East with a particular interest in identifying best HRM practices in the region, HR policies in support of women’s career development, as well as individuals’ chosen career patterns and conceptualizations of career success. Her research agenda aims to lead to better understanding HRM realities in the Middle East, to contribute to gender mainstreaming, and to shape policy at the national and organizational level to improve the quality of life of people in the region. Her publications have appeared in several outlets, the most recent being in Career Development International, the International Journal of Human Resource Management and Women Studies International Forum.



Scientific field

Business & Public administration

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