Handbook of Middle Management Strategy Process Research
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Handbook of Middle Management Strategy Process Research

Edited by Steven W. Floyd and Bill Wooldridge

The premise of this volume is that the complex social processes that animate strategic decisions involve not only top-level executives, but also middle managers distributed throughout the organization. Designed for doctoral students and others interested in middle managers and strategy process, the Handbook integrates the threads of scholarly work in this domain and charts a course for future research. Chapters are written both by scholars who have ‘paved the way’ for the middle management perspective and scholars who have done recent, cutting edge research from this point of view.
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Chapter 10: A conceptual framework of middle managers’ strategic role flexibility

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.

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