Edited by Steven W. Floyd and Bill Wooldridge
Chapter 5: Strategy-as-practice research on middle managers and sensemaking
This chapter provides a review of strategy as practice research on middle management sensemaking and strategic change. It develops an organizing framework that identifies existing contributions and high-priority research issues. The authors note that, consistent with its emphasis on what managers do, to date most middle management strategy-as-practice (SAP) research has focused on processes underlying middle managers’ interpretation of strategic change. They argue that more work is needed exploring temporal linkages and related constructs such as “sensegiving” and “sensebreaking.” The chapter concludes by outlining an agenda for future SAP middle management sensemaking research. Studies examining how sensemaking occurs both within and between managers, the limits of shared sensemaking, and the impact of emotions and social loyalties are highlighted. The chapter serves as a useful primer on SAP middle management research and encourages new innovative research by articulating a broadened research agenda.
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