Flying academics – examining short-term international teaching assignments impact on academics’ career success and work-life balance

Higher education Employment Work-life balance Australia

This thesis explores the views and experiences of academics involved in short-term international teaching assignments and the specific strategies employed by universities to manage and support their career success and work-life balance.

Accordingly, this thesis examines the challenges faced, and the type and quality of support that might be deemed as appropriate for academics. The present thesis involves two interrelated studies (Study 1 & Study 2), utilizing a sequential exploratory design characterized by a qualitative investigation prior to quantitative data collection and analysis.

Study 1 demonstrates the inter relationships between perceived organisational support, career success, and work-life balance; explicating why these relationships are important for academics engaged in short-term international teaching assignments.

Study 2 extends the proposed model formulated in Study 1, aiming to prioritize support factors involved in short-term international teaching assignments.

Specifically, findings suggest that academics who perceive their organisation as career-supportive experience enhanced levels of career satisfaction and career development. Findings also suggest that employees’ career success appear to be related strongly to work-life balance. These findings point to the all-round benefits that can result when universities reward their academics and capitalize on their offshore teaching experience. Such affirmative action would appear to acknowledge offshore teaching experience as being both important and integral to academics’ career development.

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