Middle managers and their strategic work

Published on January 1, 2014   40 min

A selection of talks on Management, Leadership & Organisation

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My name is Linda Rouleau. I'm a professor at the management department of HEC Montréal where I teach strategic management and organization theory. In this talk, I will be exploring the middle manager perspective in strategy-making, a promising subset of strategy as practice research. Before beginning the talk, I would like to say that the literature on middle managers has existed for many years.
In this literature, there are two ways of looking at middle managers. In one research stream, scholars are interested in the identity problem of middle managers related to their in-between position. They are looking at what constitutes their work, how they manage their careers and how they see their future in the changing business world. In the other research stream, scholars are studying the roles middle managers play in the formulation and implementation of strategic change. More than passive transmitters of senior manager instructions down the organization. They are viewed in this literature as mediators who facilitate organizational adaptation. It is the second set of literature on middle managers and strategic change that will be the focus of this seminar.
More specifically, the talk is organized around the five following questions, why does research on middle managers in strategy as practice matter? Who are middle managers? What do we know about middle managers' strategy work? How do we research middle managers' strategy work? What are the challenges and future avenues of research on middle managers' strategy work?