Middle managers’ capability in facilitating strategic change is critical to handle the increased pace of organizational change effectively. This article reviews the middle management literature to identify middle managers’ roles and practices during strategic change. Previous research has emphasized the role of implementer as the main responsibility for middle managers during strategic change. Through different practices, middle managers ensure implementation of change initiatives in their own unit. However, I argue that new sets of challenges have arisen in contemporary organizations that require middle managers to take an expanded role during strategic change. The article sheds light on the implications of the characteristics of contemporary organizations for middle managers’ roles and practices during strategic change. The article concludes with suggestions for future research.
Formålet med studien er å avdekke hvordan en distribuert organisasjon klarer å innovere, med fokus på mellomlederen som «boundary spanner». Fokuset rettes mot hvordan mellomlederen evner å innhente, bearbeide og spre kunnskap for å imøtekomme de utfordringene organisasjonen står overfor. Dette gjøres gjennom en casestudie med intervju, dokumentanalyse og arkivdata som innsamlingsmetoder. Casebedriften er et norsk verdensledende avlsselskap for nordatlantisk oppdrettslaks og regnbueørret. Dette gir en unik mulighet til å studere mellomlederrollen over tid. Studien viser hvordan mellomlederen kobler organisasjonen med eksterne nettverk og transformerer og transporterer kunnskap internt og eksternt. I dette arbeidet er kompetanse og personlige egenskaper avgjørende.
The purpose of this article is to uncover the ways in which a distributed organization can innovate, with a particular focus on the middle management as boundary-spanners. The article focuses on middle management and their ability to gather, process and disseminate knowledge in order to meet the challenges the organization faces. This is showcased through a case study of a world-leading Norwegian North Atlantic farmed salmon and rainbow trout breeding company in which collection methods such as initial interview, document analysis and archive data have been used. This gives me a unique opportunity to track the role of middle management over time. The study shows how the middle manager links the organization with external networks and transforms and transports knowledge internally and externally. In this work, competence and personal qualities are crucial.
This study examines how first-line managers can assume the role of change agent. The existing literature has focused on senior and middle management but has only to a limited extent addressed the critical role first-line managers – who are positioned at a distance from the strategic apex of organizations and in proximity to the majority of employees – play in implementing change. Based on a case study of organizational change in two divisions of a Scandinavian energy company, the present findings indicate that first-line managers mobilize vertical and horizontal support to take on change agency. The study argues that whom they lean on depends on their perception of spatial and social distance to superiors, and that taking on change agency involves the mobilization of distance or closeness to handle the competing pressures of change. The study contributes to the change literature by unpacking first-line managers’ experiences of change, theorizing how lower-level management take on change agency across distance.
While considerable research interest has been devoted to university governance (i.e., the allocation of authority over decisions in a university), little is known about the formation and content of university strategy and how it relates to university governance and organization. To further our knowledge about university strategy and its relation to university governance, we undertake a process study of the emergence of strategies for the organization of research work at one of the largest business schools in the world, the Copenhagen Business School (CBS), in the period 1987 to 2009. We find that CBS strategy processes in this period followed a “guided evolution” model, in which the top manager (president) invited bottom-up (research) initiatives, and supported selected ones. Such processes are likely to arise in, and be appropriate for, organizations that are characterized by considerable ambiguity, unclear/vague input/output measures, conflicting interests, and substantial heterogeneity in activities, as exemplified by universities. We discuss the benefits and costs of the guided evolution approach.
In this study, we examine the credit risk of banking bonds. We apply two option-based credit default models originally derived by Merton and Black and Cox, with the aim of producing objective credit ratings and credit spreads. A credit rating process can never be purely objective and typically credit rating assessments are highly dependent on subjective judgment on the part of credit analysts. We do believe, however, that the credit rating industry might benefit from employing objective methods to help foster consistency in the rating processes (which some CRAs already do, e.g., Moody’s). Employing data from two Norwegian banks, our analysis is designed to capture the characteristics of the Nordic financial bond market. The results indicate that structural models are well suited to computing plausible credit default probabilities, as well as credit spreads and to performing credible credit ratings of Nordic banks, given that the input parameters are properly estimated.
1–2020, volume 34
Beta – Scandinavian Journal of Business Research is an electronic journal that publishes two issues annually. This is the first issue for the new editorial team. One of our key aims is to advance BETA’s current high quality and therefore to further enhance its significance as a publication channel for PhD thesis papers. We also invite supervisors of good Master theses to encourage and help students to submit their research to BETA.
BETA is already an established outlet for research in business and economics, such as: strategic management, organizational behaviour, marketing, business economics, public sector management, accounting and finance, human resource management, sustainable business model development, innovation and product development, and business ethics.
In particular, BETA welcomes submissions set in Scandinavian contexts, but is also open to studies set in other contexts.
It was first issued in 1986 and from 2006 the journal is published e-only.
The journal publishes refereed articles and is classified as a journal at level 1 on the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions' list of publishing channels.
Ingeborg Astrid Kleppe
Professor, NHH – Norwegian School of Economics,
Richard Croucher, Professor at Middlesex University
Erik Døving, Associate professor, OsloMet
The journal is published by Scandinavian University Press / Universitetsforlaget
Layout: Type-it AS, Trondheim
Type-setting: Tekstflyt AS
Front cover: Olivia Jørgensen
ISSN online: 1504-3134
© Scandinavian University Press / Universitetsforlaget 2020