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Title: Assessing work-life balance in public practice : a partners’ perspective
Authors: Bartolo, Francesco
Keywords: Work-life balance -- Malta
Accounting firms -- Malta
Job satisfaction -- Malta
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: Purpose: This study aims to explore the phenomenon of work-life balance through the experiences of partners working in public practice. Particularly, an investigation into participants’ reflection of their own work-life balance and their views as employers within audit firms were sought. Design: A phenomenological qualitative approach was undertaken and 14 semi- structured interviews were carried out with partners working in public practice with Big-Four and Mid-Tier firms. Findings: Inherent attributes of the profession such as deadlines, complex work and constant availability to clients makes management of work-life balance challenging. Approaching a career with a mindset of achieving equity in balancing time at work and time off work is not realistic whilst pursuing a career at partnership level. One major issue which can be attributed to create imbalance was strain-based conflict rather than the long hours of work. Beyond this, a structural issue which is further complicating work-life balance is the lack of experienced staff progressing to senior positions in audit firms. However, there are also individual related variables of personality, upbringing and experiences, job satisfaction, support, ambition and work-involvement that were found to influence management of work-life balance at partnership level. As new generations of accountants are demanding better work-life balance conditions, the need of partners as employers to be more receptive to their needs for work-life balance was also established. Methods of segmentation, prioritisation and planning, relationship with family, delegation, motivation and taking ownership of work-life balance were considered as essential strategies to manage work-life balance at partnership level. Conclusions: The study concludes that working hours is not the only variable to affect work-life balance whilst pursuing a career at partnership level. Issues within the profession together with individual related variables influence management of work-life balance. It is also concluded that at partnership level, achieving ‘mental balance’ to minimise experiencing mental exhaustion was deemed more important than manipulating working hours. Value: This dissertation contributes to the knowledge of work-life balance issues from the perspective of partnership level within Big Four and Mid-Tier Firms.
Description: M.ACCTY.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2016
Dissertations - FacEMAAcc - 2016

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