The strategic roles enabling conditions and intermediate outcomes of middle managers during a period of organizational restructuring were examined, with focus on developing an understanding of how senior management can best enable middle managers to achieve radical change. The case method was used, and data were collected from interviews with both middle and senior managers. Results revealed considerable differences between executives and middle mangers with regard to middle management's strategic roles, enabling conditions and outcomes. Findings suggest that the 2 groups have different perceptions on how best to support middle management in strategic roles, especially during a crisis. Senior managers felt that middle managers required much explanation and guidance concerning the restructuring effort, viewing middle managers as primarily implementers. Middle managers viewed themselves in a more active role as providers of information necessary in guiding the restructuring decisions. In the area of intermediate outcomes, senior managers emphasized gaining consensus from middle managers to support implementation, but middle managers valued the outcome of securing agency over their own work to act in the best interests of the organization. Thus, middle managers can add value during a time of restructuring by matching strategic roles, enabling conditions and intermediate outcomes with the requirements of the strategic change.
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