Leading from the Middle : The Middle Manager’s Perceived Role from a Relationship Approach

by Lyckhult, Maria

Abstract (Summary)
The traditional view of middle managers is that they play a role to receive and deliver information upwards and downwards in the organization. With this position in the hierarchy the middle manager is said to feel stuck in the middle due to conflicting expectations from upper and lower levels in the organization. Researchers have provided theories whether the middle manager is needed or not in the modern organization. When organizational structure begins to change due to downsizing and decentralization the roles of the middle managers begin to change. With the organizational change theorists then argue about the different effects on the middle manager. But how does the middle manager actually perceive his or her role in the new organization?This thesis aims at reaching a greater understanding of the middle manager’s perceived role within the organization and how the role is affected by the relationships with the upper management levels.To answer the purpose of this thesis a qualitative method is used. A sample of 50 middle managers from four different organizations is taken from an inhouse database belonging to a research program in collaboration between Jönköping International Business School and Umeå University. The technique chosen is therefore to analyse secondary data originally collected in recent research within the field of middle management.How the middle manager’s role is perceived differs between the individual middle manager and his or her experience, which indicates that the middle manager’s identity is the most influencing factor on the perceived role.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:communication expectations identity middle management organizational structure possibilities restrictions


Date of Publication:02/16/2006

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