Discuss the strategic roles of middle managers.


In their study, Currie and Proctor (2005) concur with the literature that argues that organizational performance is mainly influenced by what takes place in the middle of the organization than what happens at the top. Based on the work of Floyd and Wooldridge (1992, 1994, 1997, 2000), Currie and Proctor (2005) argue that middle managers have a significant role to play in the ‘thinking’ as well as ‘doing’ of strategy in the organization. The middle managers can actually influence the direction of strategy from top to bottom or bottom to top. According to Currie and Proctor (2005), middle managers play four significant roles in strategic decisions in the organization. First, they synthesise information about the operations of the organisation which can be channelled upwards to the executives and can be used in strategy formulation. Second, the middle managers can reshape the strategies formulated by the executives since they are closer to all activities that occur in the organization. Thirdly, the middle managers can also exert downward influence especially in areas that are outside the reach of the executives. The fourth point is that middle managers are responsible for implementing deliberate strategy where they translate corporate strategy into action plans. Thus, it can be noted that from the middle management perspective, the middle managers have important strategic roles to make in an organization. Without middle managers, it may be difficult to achieve consistency in the performance of the organization.

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Raes et al (2011, p. 102) also suggest that “the interaction of the top management team (TMT) and middle managers (MMs) is central to effective strategy formulation and implementation.” It can be argued that the middle managers are at the center of all activities in the organization. For instance, they directly link with the top executives and the supervisors and other subordinates below them.

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