Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.2 ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS, Business and Management.

Publication Details

A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the Award of Doctor of Philosophy


There is a growing body of literature which recognises the strategic importance of middle managers (Westney, 1990, Kanter, 1982, Balogun, 2003, Balogun et al., 2011, Tippmann et al., 2013). Through enactment of strategic activities, middle managers influence how strategy develops in organisations (Aherne et al., 2014). Floyd and Wooldridge (1992) developed a model of upward and downward strategic activity which has been the basis for much of the research on middle managers. However, recent developments have highlighted the limitations in only researching upward and downward strategic activities (Rouleau and Balogun, 2011). Middle managers are engaged with interfaces above and below them, and also at the horizontal level both inside and outside the organisation. This research addresses this gap and platforming from the Floyd and Wooldridge (1992) model, develops a new typology incorporating the upward, downward and horizontal strategic activities of middle managers. The chosen context of this study is the subsidiary general manager level in multinational corporations (MNCs). The complex nature of the structures of the MNC is an exemplar case to examine strategic activities at the middle management level. Despite the growth in research on multinational subsidiaries, there is a lack of understanding of how strategy develops at the subsidiary manager level (Dörrenbächer and Geppert, 2006, Birkinshaw and Pedersen, 2009). This study addresses this issue by conceptualising the subsidiary general manager as an MNC middle manager.