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Middle Managers’ Struggle Over Their Subject Position in Open Strategy Processes


Splitter, Violetta; Jarzabkowski, Paula; Seidl, David (2023). Middle Managers’ Struggle Over Their Subject Position in Open Strategy Processes. Journal of Management Studies, 60(7):1884-1923.

Abstract

In this paper we examine middle managers’ struggle over their subject position as strategists in the context of participative strategy processes. Based on a longitudinal case study of a company undertaking an Open Strategy process, we show how the wider inclusion of front-line employees in developing new strategy undermines the traditional subject position of middle managers. Based on these findings, we develop a process model depicting the recursive dynamics of middle managers’ struggles to maintain their subject positions in the face of employee participation. With these findings we contribute to the literature on middle managers by advancing our understanding of the implications of employee participation for middle managers’ subject position as strategists and their different ways of reclaiming their subject position. We also contribute to the literature on Open Strategy by revealing the implications for traditional strategy actors as well as by explaining the processual dynamics of participation over time.

Abstract

In this paper we examine middle managers’ struggle over their subject position as strategists in the context of participative strategy processes. Based on a longitudinal case study of a company undertaking an Open Strategy process, we show how the wider inclusion of front-line employees in developing new strategy undermines the traditional subject position of middle managers. Based on these findings, we develop a process model depicting the recursive dynamics of middle managers’ struggles to maintain their subject positions in the face of employee participation. With these findings we contribute to the literature on middle managers by advancing our understanding of the implications of employee participation for middle managers’ subject position as strategists and their different ways of reclaiming their subject position. We also contribute to the literature on Open Strategy by revealing the implications for traditional strategy actors as well as by explaining the processual dynamics of participation over time.

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22 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business and International Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Strategy and Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Management of Technology and Innovation
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Date:1 November 2023
Deposited On:10 Feb 2022 06:49
Last Modified:26 Jun 2024 01:53
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0022-2380
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12776
Official URL:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joms.12776
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:22041
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)