This paper compares the impact of management practices on employee’s perception of resource adequacy and in turn engagement of local government employees in Australia and the USA. A survey design was used involving 250 local government employees working in Australia and 265 working in the USA. The overall findings identify significant paths from management practice, through to resource adequacy and in turn, employee engagement. Additionally, the findings identify a significant difference in perceptions of the work environment for US local government employees compared with those in Australia. In particular, employees in the US perceive a significantly higher level of satisfaction with management (both perceived organisational support and leader-member exchange), perceive significantly lower levels of resource inadequacy and are much more engaged than their local government counterparts in Australia. The implications are that the way management is conceptualised and practised in Australian local government is negatively impacting on employee engagement and therefore must change.