University of Twente Student Theses


Middle managers' struggles: between strategy and operations

Krijgsman, H. M. (2016) Middle managers' struggles: between strategy and operations.

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Abstract:Rolling out strategy is a well known challenge for many organizations. One particularly important group of strategy practitioners who can fulfill a crucial intermediary role in this are middle managers because they are the key members acting between top management and the rest of the community. Although, this study argues due to their position in the middle, between strategy and operations, present and future, top management and subordinates, middle management deals with dualistic tensions possibly preventing them from doing strategic activities. Therefore, this study aims to make a contribution to the strategy-as-practice domain by creating a closer understanding of the actual doing of strategy by practitioners by answering the research question: what tensions prevent middle management from doing strategic activities? For answering the research question an ethnographic case study is carried out investigating the strategic activities and tensions of middle management at an internationally operation company. In this study eight generic tensions were identified. These tensions were as well directly as indirectly related to middle manager’ position in the middle. Other findings are these tensions are interrelated to each other and differ in multiple ways. Therefore, this study is another confirmation that strategy doesn’t arise on paper but is shaped by the actions and interactions of strategy practitioners. Key words: strategy-as-practice, ethnographic case study, strategic activities, middle management, tensions, conflicts.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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