Edited by Steven W. Floyd and Bill Wooldridge
Chapter 13: Middle management and strategy process: toward a pluralistic theory of power
This chapter suggests an “alternative template” approach as a method for adding new insight into empirical phenomena. The chapter begins with a review of the literature on power and middle managers’ role in strategy making, organized around three key themes: middle managers as resisters of top-down strategy, middle managers as politically skilled change agents, and strategic empowerment. Following this review, the chapter presents an empirically derived case vignette to examine middle management power dynamics through three alternative theoretical lenses. This pluralistic approach demonstrates the utility of examining phenomena through multiple lenses to challenge, enrich and elaborate extant knowledge. This thinking is used to introduce three research “moves” (enriching, problematizing and elaborating) that add new insight into the middle management perspective and advance the emergence of a pluralistic theory of power.
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