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 12: Middle management engagement in strategic planning routines: a mindfulness perspective

Carola Wolf


This chapter focuses on middle managers’ engagement with the strategic planning process. It begins with a review of the extant literature, and proceeds to identify three ways that middle managers may engage with strategic planning: conforming, decoupling, and shaping. The theoretical principle animating relationships between middle managers and strategic planning is mindfulness, and the extent to which it is a feature of management behavior. The chapter sets up a tension between managerial mindfulness and the routine of strategic planning, and draws on institutional theory to show why and how institutionalization may defeat the flexibility and adaptation that constitutes the very purpose of strategic planning.

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