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How strategic project management and middle management influence implementing strategic initiatives

How strategic project management and middle management influence implementing strategic initiatives
How strategic project management and middle management influence implementing strategic initiatives
In strategic change management and strategic renewal literature, the implementation of strategic initiatives has currently progressed as a novel area, with significant room for augmentation. Strategic initiatives are essential to renewal of the firm’s strategy. They enable improvement in capabilities that allow the firm to more advantageously compete, and are implemented by middle management through Project management. Recent literature in strategic implementation and renewal still lacks specific processes for improving practice and management concerning how strategic initiatives impact to Improve capabilities for the firm. Its significance has been noticed, but the area of implementing strategic initiatives is still largely underexplored. Literature fails to fully incorporate the influential roles of middle management and strategic project management. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how they can contribute to new and/or improved capabilities. It also focusses on how they effectively manage strategic renewal. Focussing on strategy process research, it looks at the implementation linked to product or process Improvement activity. To achieve the research aim, the study utilizes the interpretive approach and Qualitative research using multiple case studies. This is supported by document analysis, observation, and in-depth semi-structured interviews of managers from diverse functions in each of the two large manufacturing firms in Barbados. Empirical evidence collected from October 2011 to March 2014, involves six strategic initiatives. Qualitative data analysis is utilized. The findings reveal some similarities with existing literature and across initiatives and firms, but interesting differences exist, for example involving structural, firm's culture, and levels or application of strategic project management. The degree of sharing and learning which improves capabilities with initiatives, also depends on context, Interactions levels and variation in management roles. Although some strategic initiatives objectives are similar, initiatives differ in nature and approach, so outcomes differ. Related models need to have Inherent flexibility. Factors still limit increasing of middle managers’ strategic role. Further enhancing strategic project management can assist the mediation of factors impacting initiatives, and contribute to improving renewal processes and outcomes. This study contributes to the literature on strategy implementation, confirming that firms structure Initiatives as projects in portfolio to implement for effective outcomes. It integrates strategy process and practice theories to improve strategic initiatives, capabilities and renewal, and with organizational learning and activity theory combined, develops new theory to add to sparse research. Outcomes add to the understanding of strategic capabilities in Barbados manufacturing firms, and of means for augmenting the activities, practices and processes. Interactions and communication facilitating the Improvement of integration and coordination, as strategic initiatives are implemented within a hierarchy of strategic objectives supporting activities, help improving capabilities and sustain strategic renewal.
Brathwaite, Juliette
5585b671-6da2-4686-b49f-bbeaad8d93da
Brathwaite, Juliette
5585b671-6da2-4686-b49f-bbeaad8d93da
Huber, Franz
2ddb1e89-a096-434b-88e0-10da081b5ef6
Williams, Terry
085e6e3e-f94e-435c-936e-82fb0c5c4ae8

Brathwaite, Juliette (2015) How strategic project management and middle management influence implementing strategic initiatives. University of Southampton, Southampton Business School, Doctoral Thesis, 556pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

In strategic change management and strategic renewal literature, the implementation of strategic initiatives has currently progressed as a novel area, with significant room for augmentation. Strategic initiatives are essential to renewal of the firm’s strategy. They enable improvement in capabilities that allow the firm to more advantageously compete, and are implemented by middle management through Project management. Recent literature in strategic implementation and renewal still lacks specific processes for improving practice and management concerning how strategic initiatives impact to Improve capabilities for the firm. Its significance has been noticed, but the area of implementing strategic initiatives is still largely underexplored. Literature fails to fully incorporate the influential roles of middle management and strategic project management. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how they can contribute to new and/or improved capabilities. It also focusses on how they effectively manage strategic renewal. Focussing on strategy process research, it looks at the implementation linked to product or process Improvement activity. To achieve the research aim, the study utilizes the interpretive approach and Qualitative research using multiple case studies. This is supported by document analysis, observation, and in-depth semi-structured interviews of managers from diverse functions in each of the two large manufacturing firms in Barbados. Empirical evidence collected from October 2011 to March 2014, involves six strategic initiatives. Qualitative data analysis is utilized. The findings reveal some similarities with existing literature and across initiatives and firms, but interesting differences exist, for example involving structural, firm's culture, and levels or application of strategic project management. The degree of sharing and learning which improves capabilities with initiatives, also depends on context, Interactions levels and variation in management roles. Although some strategic initiatives objectives are similar, initiatives differ in nature and approach, so outcomes differ. Related models need to have Inherent flexibility. Factors still limit increasing of middle managers’ strategic role. Further enhancing strategic project management can assist the mediation of factors impacting initiatives, and contribute to improving renewal processes and outcomes. This study contributes to the literature on strategy implementation, confirming that firms structure Initiatives as projects in portfolio to implement for effective outcomes. It integrates strategy process and practice theories to improve strategic initiatives, capabilities and renewal, and with organizational learning and activity theory combined, develops new theory to add to sparse research. Outcomes add to the understanding of strategic capabilities in Barbados manufacturing firms, and of means for augmenting the activities, practices and processes. Interactions and communication facilitating the Improvement of integration and coordination, as strategic initiatives are implemented within a hierarchy of strategic objectives supporting activities, help improving capabilities and sustain strategic renewal.

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Published date: April 2015
Organisations: University of Southampton, Southampton Business School

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Local EPrints ID: 376776
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/376776
PURE UUID: f46b92b4-161d-4eda-9611-40b05052774f

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Date deposited: 06 Jul 2015 13:12
Last modified: 30 Jun 2018 04:01

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