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|Title:||Reinstated but downgraded: Mothers' experiences of post-maternity leave demotion and psychological contract violation|
|Keywords:||mothers;psychological contract;maternity leave;demotion|
|Abstract:||While the transition back to work following maternity leave is a stage of a woman’s career that can have significant impact on the rest of her working life, this remains an under-researched topic. The current study examines mothers’ return to work experiences, with a specific focus on the downgrading to their jobs they encounter, perceived as demotions, which no previous study has pursued. Drawing from research investigating mothers’ psychological contracts and their turnover intentions, the current study examines the relationship between demotions, psychological contract violation and employment outcomes. Also of interest was whether psychological contract violation initiated a process of grieving, as mothers struggled to separate from their identities as valued employees. In-depth interviews were conducted with eight mothers. Mothers who perceived their restructured jobs as demotions experienced psychological contract violations in response, and also described emotions consistent with a process of grieving. However, not all mothers who experienced psychological contract breach or violation quit their jobs. Implications for working mothers and for future research are discussed.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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