Middle Managers' Role as Change Agents
On Monday 4 June 2018 Monica Rydland will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend her thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.
Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:
Theories of change. The role of change agents in rational functionalist and social constructionist explanations of change
10:15 in Jebsen Centre, NHH
Title of the thesis:
Middle Managers' Role as Change Agents - Variations in Approaches and their Contributions to the Progress of Change
The purpose of this thesis is to explore the various ways in which middle managers approach their role as change agents. Existing research on organizational change has primarily emphasized the implementation of change as middle management's main role during strategic change.
Monica Rydland argues that middle managers are facing increasing challenges and expectations and particularly an increased pace of change. She therefore anticipates that the middle manager's role in strategic change may be more diverse than has been suggested in the previous literature.
In order to examine how middle managers at various levels approach their role as change agents, Rydland conducted a review of the literature on middle management and change, and carried out two longitudinal case studies of middle managers. Theoretically, she draws on middle management literature and the sensemaking perspective.
Her findings suggest that middle managers approach their role as implementer in various ways that differ in terms of both role perception and implementation practices. Some middle managers also take on a broader role as change agent that goes far beyond implementing change. The specific approach middle managers take to their role as change agents is important as it influences how change progresses.
Consequently, Rydland´ s research contributes to the middle management literature and the strategic change literature by expanding our notion of the middle manager's role as change agent and by illustrating how middle managers contribute to securing the progress of change.
12:15 in Jebsen Centre, NHH
Members of the evaluation committee:
Professor Christine B. Meyer (leader of the committee), Department of Strategy and Management, NHH
Professor Gro Ladegård, NMBU
Professor James Ludema, Benedictine University
Professor Inger G. Stensaker (main supervisor), Department of Strategy and Management, NHH
Professor Vidar Schei, Department of Strategy and Management, NHH
Professor Julia Balogun, Dean, University of Liverpool Management School
The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public. Copies of the thesis will be available from firstname.lastname@example.org.