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Middle managers’ struggle over their subject position in Open Strategy processes

Splitter, V., Jarzabkowski, P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8674-6628 and Seidl, D. (2021). Middle managers’ struggle over their subject position in Open Strategy processes. Journal of Management Studies,

Abstract

In this paper we examine the struggle of middle managers over their subject position as strategists in the context of participative strategy processes. Based on a longitudinal, real-time case study of a company undertaking an Open Strategy process, we show how the wider inclusion of front-line employees in developing new strategy undermines the traditional subject position of middle managers. Based on these findings, we develop a process model depicting the recursive dynamics of middle managers’ struggles to maintain their subject positions in the face of employee participation. With these findings we contribute to the literature on middle managers by advancing our understanding of the implications of employee participation for middle managers’ subject position as strategists and their different ways of reclaiming their subject position. We also contribute to the literature on Open Strategy by revealing the challenges of participatory strategy-making processes and the implications for traditional strategy actors as well as by explaining the processual dynamics of participation over time.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article Splitter, V., Jarzabkowski, P. and Seidl, D. Middle managers’ struggle over their subject position in Open Strategy processes. Journal of Management Studies, which will be published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-6486. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Publisher Keywords: Middle managers, Open Strategy, subject position, widening participation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Date available in CRO: 14 Sep 2021 08:10
Date deposited: 14 September 2021
Date of acceptance: 13 September 2021
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/26745
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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