Zeki Simsek and Ciaran Heavey
Ruifang Wang, Patrick T. Gibbons and Ciaran Heavey
This chapter provides an overview of existing theory on middle managers’ roles in the strategy process and develops a conceptual framework detailing drivers and mechanisms underlying managers’ strategic role flexibility. The chapter describes strategic role flexibility as being comprised of: (1) multifaceted role behavior; (2) multidirectional patterns of influence; and (3) temporal agility. The framework suggests that strategic role flexibility is driven by human and social capital considerations and is achieved through a three-step process: envisioning, assessing, and enacting. After presenting the framework, the chapter identifies 11 broad research questions to guide future research on the drivers, mechanisms, strategic contexts, and manifestations of middle managers’ strategic role flexibility.