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Friendships under strain : the work-personal life integration of middle managers
journal contributionposted on 2008-11-01, 00:00 authored by Melissa ParrisMelissa Parris, M Vickers, L Wilkes
Middle managers in today's organisations have reported experiencing longer working hours and intensified work regimes. These increased pressures, in turn, have led to growing difficulty in addressing the integration of their work and personal lives. In an exploratory study of the daily workplace experiences of Australian middle managers and the impacts on their personal lives, one of the key themes to emerge was respondents' concerns about the negative effects on their friendships. This paper discusses middle managers' recognition of the value of friendships for their wellbeing, and the resultant anger and sadness reported at the strain on these relationships due to competing time demands. The significant role that friendships play in alleviating some of the stresses of work demands, while concurrently being impeded by these same demands, is an important issue for organisations to consider. These findings indicate the need for middle managers to truly have an ability to engage in activities - and friendships - which will aid them in their working lives. The study also indicates a need for further investigation into the development and maintenance of friendships for both middle managers and other groups of employees.