Work-Life Balance and Its Impact on Turnover Intention of Married Female Academics in Malaysia: The Mediating Role of Job Satisfaction

Sudhashini Nair, Neeta Jayabalan, Ilangovan Perumal, Muthaloo Subramaniam


The COVID-19 pandemic that led to a nationwide lockdown in most countries and the subsequent implementation of work from home was a challenge for many married female academics. They spent less hours on research and more time juggling their family responsibilities, including household chores, childcare, and taking care of the elderly, all on top of conducting and managing their lectures online via video conferences. The poor work-life balance of married female academics may have affected their job satisfaction and turnover intention. Hence, the goal of this study was to examine the possible relationships that may exist between work-life balance, job satisfaction, and turnover intention and the possible mediating effect of job satisfaction in the relationship between work-life balance and turnover intention of married female academics in Malaysia. The aim of the study was to contribute to existing knowledge on work-life balance, job satisfaction, and turnover intention among women in academia, especially considering the limited studies available in Malaysia. Another aim was to propose policies that should be implemented to support and prevent females from leaving the workforce. The research methodology employed in this study was a deductive approach. The design of the study was an explanatory design, a mono-method quantitative design, using questionnaires distributed online. The research strategy applied was the survey method using cross-sectional study. The online questionnaire was answered by 150 respondents. Data analysis was done using SPSS software to test the reliability of the data; to conduct linearity, correlation, and multiple regression tests; and to examine the relationships between the independent and dependent variables. A mediation test was conducted using the Sobel test. The results of the study revealed that work-life balance had a significant positive relationship with job satisfaction and a negative relationship with turnover intention, while job satisfaction had an inverse relationship with turnover intention. Lastly, job satisfaction fully mediated the relationship between work-life balance and turnover intention. The scientific novelty of the study was the test results, which indicate that married female academics in Malaysia do have the intention to leave their university because of poor work-life balance and job satisfaction. The study provides implications of the research findings.


Keywords: turnover intention, job satisfaction, work-life balance.

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