My colleagues (do not) think the same : middle managers’ shared and separate realities in strategy implementation
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How does middle managers’ sensemaking of other middle managers’ attitudes to a new strategy affect strategy implementation? We explore this question using a qualitative-abductive approach. Our investigation of the implementation of a top-down strategy in the plant of a multinational German engineering company revealed that middle managers experiencing ambiguity make sense of other middle managers’ attitudes to the strategy in social interactions. Based on their understanding of their colleagues’ attitudes, middle managers construct shared and separate realities about the strategy to be implemented. While shared realities are subjectively experienced commonalities, separate realities are subjectively experienced differences from others’ attitudes to the strategy. In our case, middle managers’ shared realities were associated with inaction on strategy implementation, whereas middle managers’ separate realities were related to initial actions to implement the strategy. Our findings suggest that middle managers’ sensemaking of other middle managers’ attitudes to a new strategy can shape their strategy implementation behavior.
Schuler , B , Orr , K & Hughes , J 2023 , ' My colleagues (do not) think the same : middle managers’ shared and separate realities in strategy implementation ' , Journal of Business Research , vol. 160 , 113782 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2023.113782
Journal of Business Research
Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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