Article

Managers and employees do not see eye to eye: Knowledge gaps in work life balance

Conference Proceeding ar
Proceedings of the European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM
  • Fecha: 01 December 2010
  • Páginas: 228-236
  • ISSN: 20488963 20488971
  • ISBN: 9781906638719
  • Source Type: Conference Proceeding
  • Document Type: Article
In recent years, companies and official institutions have promoted the implementation of work life balance (WLB) initiatives in organizations to foster employees' personal balance to help them finding a life rhythm that allows them to combine their work with other responsibilities, activities or aspirations. As a consequence, research on WLB practices has also increased in recent years. Academics affirm that the implementation of WLB practices helps to achieve better organizational results such as benefits or higher levels of productivity. On the other hand, different studies have found that WLB practices also improve employee outcomes such as higher satisfaction, commitment and reduce their work family conflict and turnover intentions. However, some authors have argued that there are differences between the availability of WLB practices in companies and employees' perceptions of access to such practices. The literature is sparse on the differences in perceptions between managers and employees in relation to WLB and its effect on usage. Using two samples of 229 managers and 511 employees from the same firms of an industrial sector in Spain, this paper aims at filling this gap in the literature. We employed T-test analysis for measuring the mean differences of availability of WLB practices according to managers and employees and logistic regression to evaluate the effect of WLB availability on the usage of such practices. Results show that availability of WLB practices in the organizations is significantly higher that what employees from the organizations believe. Moreover, findings show that usage of WLB practices is predicted by what is perceived by the employees in the organizations. This research contributes to our knowledge of the existence of the perception gaps between managers and employees and their influence on the take-up of WLB. Implications for academics and practitioners are discussed. Limitations and future lines of research deriving from this research are highlighted.

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