Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 4

middle managers Related Abstracts

4 The Role of Middle Managers SBU's in Context of Change: Sense-Making Approach

Authors: Hala Alioua, Alberic Tellier


This paper is designed to spotlight the research on corporate strategic planning, by emphasizing the role of middle manager of SBU’s and related issues such as the context of vision change. Previous research on strategic vision has been focused principally at the SME, with relatively limited consideration given to the role of middle managers SBU’s in the context of change. This project of research has been done by using a single case study. We formulated through our immersion for 2.5 years on the ground and by a qualitative method and abduction approach. This entity that we analyze is a subsidiary of multinational companies headquartered in Germany, specialized in manufacturing automotive equipment. The "Delta Company" is a French manufacturing plant that has undergone numerous changes over the past three years. The two major strategic changes that have a significant impact on the Delta plant are the strengths of its core business through « lead plant strategy» in 2011 and the implementation of a new strategic vision in 2014. These consecutive changes impact the purpose of the mission of the middle managers. The plant managers ask the following questions: How the middle managers make sense of the corporate strategic planning imposed by the parent company? How they appropriate the new vision and decline it into actions on the ground? We chose the individual interview technique through open-ended questions as the source of data collection. We first of all carried out an exploratory approach by interviewing 8 members of the Management committee’s decision and 19 heads of services. The first findings and results show that exist a divergence of opinion and interpretations of the corporate strategic planning among organization members and there are difficulties to make sense and interpretations of the signals of the environment. The lead plant strategy enables new projects which insure the workload of Delta Company. Nevertheless, it creates a tension and stress among the middle managers because its provoke lack of resources to the detriment of their main jobs as manufacturer plant. The middle managers does not have a clear vision and they are wondering if the new strategic vision means more autonomy and less support from the group.

Keywords: Vision, Change, middle managers, sensemaking

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3 Autonomy in Healthcare Organisations: A Comparative Case Study of Middle Managers in England and Iran

Authors: Maryam Zahmatkesh


Middle managers form a significant occupational category in organisations. They undertake a vital role, as they sit between the operational and strategic roles. Traditionally they were acting as diplomat administrators, and were only in power to meet the demands of professionals. Following the introduction of internal market, in line with the principles of New Public Management, middle managers have been considered as change agents. More recently, in the debates of middle managers, there is emphasis on entrepreneurialism and enacting strategic role. It was assumed that granting autonomy to the local organisations and the inception of semi-autonomous hospitals (Foundation Trusts in England and Board of Trustees in Iran) would give managers more autonomy to act proactively and innovatively. This thesis explores the hospital middle managers’ perception of and responses to public management reforms (in particular, hospital autonomy) in England and Iran. In order to meet the aims of the thesis, research was undertaken within the interpretative paradigm, in line with social constructivism. Data were collected from interviews with forty-five middle managers, observational fieldwork and documentary analysis across four teaching university hospitals in England and Iran. The findings show the different ways middle managers’ autonomy is constrained in the two countries. In England, middle managers have financial and human recourses, but their autonomy is constrained by government policy and targets. In Iran, middle managers are less constrained by government policy and targets, but they do not have financial and human resources to exercise autonomy. Unbalanced autonomy causes tension and frustration for middle managers. According to neo-institutional theory, organisations are deeply embedded within social, political, economic and normative settings that exert isomorphic and internal population-level pressures to conform to existing and established modes of operation. Health systems which are seeking to devolve autonomy to middle managers must appreciate the multidimensional nature of the autonomy, as well as the wider environment that organisations are embedded, if they are about to improve the performance of managers and their organisations.

Keywords: Autonomy, new public management, middle managers, healthcare organisations

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2 The Link between Strategic Sense-Making and Performance in Dubai Public Sector

Authors: Mohammad Rahman, Guy Burton, Megan Mathias


Strategic management as an organizational practice was adopted by the public sector in the New Public Management (NPM) era that began in most parts of the world in the 1980s. Strategy as a new public management concept was subscribed by governments in both developed and developing world, as they were persuaded that clearly defined vision, mission and goals, as well as programs and projects - aligned with the goals - could potentially help achieve government vision at the national level and organizational goals at the service-delivery level. The advocates for strategic management in the public sector saw an inherent link between strategy and performance, claiming that the implementation of organizational strategy has an effect on the overall performance of an organization. Arguably, many government entities that have failed in enhancing team and individual performance had poorly-designed strategy or weak strategy implementation. Another key argument about low-level performance is linked with lack of strategic sense-making and orientation by middle managers in particular. Scholars maintain that employees at all levels need to understand strategic management plan in order to facilitate its implementation. Therefore, involving employees (particularly the middle managers) from the beginning potentially helps an organization avoid the drop in performance, and on the contrary would increase their commitment. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is well known for adopting public sector reform strategies and tools since the 1990s. This observation is contextually pertinent in the case of the Government of Dubai, which has provided a Strategy Execution Guide to all of its entities to achieve high level strategic success in service delivery. The Dubai public sector also adopts road maps for e-Government, Smart Dubai, Expo 2020, investment, environment, education, health and other sectors. Evidently, some of these strategies are bringing tangible (e.g. Smart Dubai transformation) results in a transformational manner. However, the amount of academic research and literature on the strategy process vis-à-vis staff performance in the Government of Dubai is limited. In this backdrop, this study examines how individual performance of public sector employees in Dubai is linked with their sense-making, engagement and orientation with strategy development and implementation processes. Based on a theoretical framework, this study will undertake a sample-based questionnaire survey amongst middle managers in Dubai public sector to (a) measure the level of engagement of middle managers in strategy development and implementation processes as perceived by them; (b) observe the organizational landscape in which role expectations are placed on middle managers; and (c) examine the impact of employee engagement in strategy development process and the conditions for role expectations on individual performance. The paper is expected to provide new insights on the interface between strategic sense-making and performance in order to contribute a better understanding of the current culture/practices of staff engagement in strategic management in the public sector of Dubai.

Keywords: employee performance, middle managers, government of Dubai, strategic sense-making

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1 Examining the Influence of Organisational Culture on Middle Leadership in Primary Schools in Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom

Authors: Saeed Musaid Alzahrani


Shared values, beliefs, norms and assumptions within the organisation can affect personal and team effectiveness. Organisational culture can also affect the performance of organisational members. The nature of middle leadership in a primary school is largely influenced by organizational culture. The effectiveness of middle leadership in primary schools and their performance is strongly determined by the circumstances in which they work and can be political or institutional. This study aims to examine the influence of organisational culture and government policy on the performance and effectiveness of middle managers, using the English and Saudi education systems as case studies. To examine how education policy conditions educational discourse, and answer the research questions, there is a need to collect qualitative data on middle manager’s perceptions and experiences in the English and Saudi Arabian contexts. The study involved a qualitative and interpretative approach. In-depth interviews with 6 middle managers and school supervisors in 3 English primary schools and 6 middle managers in 3 Saudi Arabian primary schools were conducted to answer the research questions. The study also included ethnographic tools such as observations of a sample of three primary schools in both England and Saudi Arabia where the researcher observed middle managers’ interactions with their peers. The sample of three enabled the study to identify trends and make comparisons between leadership approaches in both systems based on observations without the bias of prescriptions. The use of ethnographic tools not only makes the study empirical but also increases the reliability and validity of the findings by reducing prescriptive bias. The observations will be triangulated with the results of the interviews to draw comparisons and conclusions on whether middle managers act as leaders or as followers in their respective political contexts.

Keywords: Education Management, organisational culture, middle managers, government education policies

Procedia PDF Downloads 127