Yakaboski, Tamara

Committee Member

Birnbaum, Matthew

Committee Member

Williams, Mia Kim

Committee Member

Murdock, Jennifer L.


Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



223 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The mainstream media and academic research have covered worklife balance increasingly over the last couple of decades. Worklife balance, the notion that one’s work and life domains are equal, is a challenge for most working professionals. It has become even more significant with the prevalence of mobile technology such as smartphones and the continuously connected society in which we live. Student affairs professionals are not immune to worklife balance issues, particularly because they are in a field in which there are long hours and night and weekend work. This dissertation study uses work/family border theory to consider the following research question: How do mid-level student affairs professionals describe their worklife negotiation experiences with the use of mobile technology? In this study, the terms balance and negotiation are not interchangeable. Through a single-case study at one university, I conducted ten interviews with ten mid-level student affairs professionals and two overarching themes arose from the data - organizational and personal factors that impact worklife balance. Organizational factors included the subthemes of institutional or departmental culture, supervisor support, an employee’s schedule flexibility, level of staffing, and supervision. The personal factor subthemes were family, mobile technology, navigating boundaries, fear of missing out, and self-care. A discussion of implications for student affairs professionals, supervisors, student affairs administrators, and human resources professionals is provided in Chapter V. The implications section includes items like student affairs professionals need to have a better understanding of the worklife balance needs and supervisors play a large role in a student affairs professional’s worklife balance through approving time off and schedules and getting to know and understand an individual’s worklife balance needs. In addition, student affairs administrators should intentionally develop an organizational culture that supports worklife balance and human resources professionals can support an employee’s worklife balance through well thought out policies, procedures, and trainings that develop supervisors and employees in the area of worklife balance. Finally, I provide direction for future research on worklife negotiation and mobile technology use and boundaries in student affairs.

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