An Empirical Insight into the Factors Affecting the Oscillation of Women between Self and Paid Employment in South Africa

Bridget Irene, Abdullah Promise Opute, William Murithi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Discourse in entrepreneurship has highlighted the importance of understanding the entrepreneurial motivation of women. Although prior literature documents significant similarity in women motivations there is limited understanding of what motivates South African women to oscillate between self-employment and paid employment. Therefore, this study aims to highlight these factors by exploring the career mobility perspective with expectancy, motivational and work-life balance perspectives. The study utilizes the interpretive phenomenological approach (IPA) to understand the influencing factors of women’s oscillation from self to paid employment in the South African socio-economic and cultural context. The sample was drawn from a population of women entrepreneurs in South Africa via interviews and focus group discussions. The results show that a major factor influencing women decision to engage in entrepreneurship is the need to achieve work-life balance. The inability to secure financial capital, gender bias, social and cultural norms are the most significant challenges women face in South Africa, thus leaving them with no option other than to seek sustenance in paid employment while maintaining their businesses by the side.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of African Entrepreneurship
EditorsOluwaseun Kolade, David Rae, Demola Obembe, Kassa Woldesenbet Beta
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-75894-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-75893-6, 978-3-030-75896-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

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  • Women Entrepreneurship
  • Motivation
  • Oscillation
  • Self-Employment
  • Paid Employment
  • Work-Life balance


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