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Managing change, or changing managers? The role of middle managers in UK public service reform

Gatenby, Mark and Rees, Chris and Truss, Catherine and Alfes, Kerstin and Soane, Emma (2015) Managing change, or changing managers? The role of middle managers in UK public service reform. Public Management Review, 17 (8). pp. 1124-1145. ISSN 1471-9037

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14719037.2014.895028

Abstract

Drawing upon interview data from three case study organizations, we examine the role of middle managers in UK public service reform. Using theory fragments from organizational ecology and role theory, we develop three role archetypes that middle managers might be enacting. We find that rather than wholesale enactment of a ‘change agent’ role, middle managers are balancing three predominant, but often conflicting, change-related roles: as ‘government agent’, ‘diplomat administrator’ and, less convincingly, ‘entrepreneurial leader’. Central government targets are becoming the main preoccupation for middle managers across many public services and they represent a dominant constraint on allowing ‘managers to manage’.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rpxm20/current
Additional Information: © 2014 Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Sets: Departments > Management
Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Research centres and groups > Employment Relations and Organisational Behaviour Group
Research centres and groups > Organisational Behaviour Group
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2014 13:57
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2015 15:29
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/56363

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