A Middle Management Perspective on Strategy Implementation

Date of Conferral


Date of Award

January 2012


Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Doll, Yvonne


Strategic management researchers have established the key role middle managers play in the implementation of organizational strategies. However, there is little information regarding middle managers' views and perceptions of strategy implementation and the challenges associated with implementing organizational strategies. Drawing from activity theory and inspired by the strategy-as-practice perspective, the purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to understand the views and perceptions of 12 middle managers and 3 management consultants on the factors influencing organizational strategy implementation. The research questions addressed in this study included the views of middle managers on: (a) the key challenges associated with strategy implementation, (b) the factors influencing organizational strategy implementation, and (c) the contribution of middle managers in the implementation of organizational strategies. Data were collected using semistructured email interviews with open-ended questions and analyzed using the qualitative methodology of interpretative phenomenological analysis. Five major themes emerged following the interpretative analysis of the data: (a) challenges in strategy implementation, (b) participative management style, (c) strategic alignment, (d) internal communication, and (e) middle management contribution to strategy implementation. Implications for positive social change include enhanced organizational ability to implement intended strategies, which could lead to a financially healthy private sector that contributes to the growth of national economies and the creation of new jobs.

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