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Making strategy work: The role of the middle manager

  • Mari Jansen Van Rensburg (a1), Annemarie Davis (a2) and Peet Venter (a1)


In recognition of middle managers as influential strategists we collected 654 responses from South African middle managers detailing their spontaneous and unguided descriptions of their strategic roles in the organisation they represent. The results show that middle managers generally associate their strategic role strongly with the traditional perspectives on the roles as implementers of strategies and communicators linking their subordinates and higher levels of management. We add the roles of ‘advocacy’ and ‘improving operational performance’ to the conventional elements of strategy implementation, and the roles of ‘managing performance’ and ‘driving compliance’ to the role of downward influence. Focus group discussions contextualised and authenticated these roles within the South African private and public sectors.


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