Influence of managerial connectivity on strategic choice : the role of middle managers

Jafar, Haitham (2017) Influence of managerial connectivity on strategic choice : the role of middle managers. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis aims to craft a richer description, and deeper understanding, of the work of middle managers in strategy making. In so doing, this study brings together the concepts of connectivity and strategic choice in order to elaborate how middle managers’ roles unfold during a strategy building exercise. The influence of connectivity on middle managers’ strategic choices is traced over the life span of a major strategic initiative in a telecommunication company. A careful examination of the connectivity literature paved the way for a conceptualised working mechanism of connectivity. The thesis introduces this conceptualised working mechanism to the strategic management stream of literature. The proposed mechanism captures managerial connectivity and investigates connectivity’s influence throughout various periods of the formulation and implementation phases of the strategic initiative. The context for the research project is a telecommunication company located in Jordan. The collection of data comes from an in-depth case study with reference to a significant strategic initiative. The initiative concerned a major expansion to the firm’s operations that concerned extending the company’s offerings to wider range of services and newer geographical areas. The case study approach in this research is informed by critical realism ontology. Furthermore, the interviews with managers -top and middle- who worked on the expansion project constitute the primary source of data. An inductive reasoning to the research inquiry along with a theory building exercise led to the development of the research propositions. These propositions are then depicted in a theoretical model aimed at addressing the research question which centres on how connectivity influences strategic choice of middle managers. The research findings, and their related discussions about connectivity’s role in forming middle managers’ strategic choices, disclose the importance of incorporating managerial connectivity to understand strategy making and implementation processes. This thesis makes the case for the introduction of managerial connectivity as a primary influence in the organisational studies. The thesis argues that presenting strategy process via a connectivity lens sheds light onto how different states of connectivity, under varying conditions, influence the strategy work of managers and the progression of strategic 3 initiatives. Theorising through the lens of connectivity will aid in understanding of complex processes such as of strategy making in the organisation. This thesis sheds light on the interplay between managers, the connection of their interplay to organisational strategy formation, and the formation of choices managers make while strategising. Including connectivity in strategy process research enriches strategic management conversation revolving around participation and involvement. Such inclusion also has implications on middle management perspective of strategy process research in terms of fine graining both their roles and contribution dynamics in strategy making and implementation. Finally, viewing strategy making and implementation from a standpoint of managerial connectivity has implications for management as to how and when to compress and/or expand connectivity to suit the requirements of a given strategy in order to realise its objectives and obtain its benefits.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Connectivity, strategy making and implementation process, middle managers, strategic choice, formulation and implementation.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Canales, Dr. Ignacio
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Haitham Jafar
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-7957
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2017 15:45
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2017 07:49

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