Caught in the Middle: Organizational Impediments to Middle Managers’ Work-life Balance

  • Melissa A. Parris
  • Margaret H. Vickers
  • Lesley Wilkes


As increased work demands and longer working hours become the reality for many employees, the concept of work-life balance has received increasing attention. This paper presents findings from an exploratory study of Australian middle managers, which investigated the impact of middle managers’ daily organizational experiences on their lives both in and beyond the workplace. We focus on respondents’ reports of the difficulty in achieving work-life balance, specifically, the organizational impediments to creating balance. Three particular areas where these impediments were apparent are: the impact of new technologies; limits to autonomy and control in the middle management role; and difficulties in taking advantage of flexibility initiatives in the workplace. As middle managers are caught in the middle between work and personal life, there is a need for organizations to support middle managers’ efforts to achieve work-life balance if the organization’s long-term goals are to be achieved.

Key words

flexibility middle managers work-life balance workplace experiences 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa A. Parris
    • 1
  • Margaret H. Vickers
    • 2
  • Lesley Wilkes
    • 3
  1. 1.Bowater School of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Business and LawDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.School of Management, College of BusinessUniversity of Western SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.School of Nursing, College of Health and ScienceUniversity of Western SydneySydneyAustralia

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