Promoting work-family balance as a strategy for optimising female faculty productivity in Uganda’s public universities

Article Authors: Eva Tumusiime


Scholarship on Work-Family Balance (WFB) has increased since the 1970s when employees, including those in universities, began realising that fulfilling job demands was attained at the expense of their family life, and vice-versa. Much of this research has, however, examined how to balance job and family responsibilities. Little effort has been made to analyse employees’ Work-Work Balance (WWB) and how it and WLB affect their productivity. This gap is specifically evident in the context of female faculty members whose job, moreover, has different demanding dimensions that include teaching, research, community service and administrative work for those in managerial positions. Additionally, as females, these lecturers tend to play more family roles compared to their male counterparts especially in African settings such as Uganda. This article fills this gap by analysing this effect. The article is based on a cross-sectional survey that involved 230 female faculty members randomly selected from three also randomly selected public universities in Uganda. Quantitative questionnaire data was collected and analysed using descriptive and multiple regression analysis. The key findings indicate that 84.6% of these faculty members did not realise desired WFB, 87.4% did not attain desired WWB and 73.9% were underproductive in all their job dimensions of teaching, research, community service and administrative activities due to performing them simultaneously. WFB and WWB predicted these lecturers’ productivity in teaching, research and community service in a significantly positive, suggesting that improving each of them translates into a significant improvement in the lecturers’ productivity. The management of Uganda’s public universities was hence urged to adopt strategies that improve WFB and WWB, including allowing these lecturers to concentrate on one dimension of their job at a time instead of requiring them to perform all the dimensions concurrently as this leads to suboptimal productivity in each dimension.