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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Abstract

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
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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
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
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7957

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