Factors affecting strategy implementation and the role of middle managers in implementation
Thesis (MBA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.
The global business environment has evolved since 1990. This change has brought companies new realities in the form of new business opportunities for growth and, at the same time has exposed them to new competitors. This has caused companies to invest many resources in devising new effective strategies to take advantage of the new opportunities, whilst protecting their market positions, which are crucial to their continued economic existence. Effective implementation of strategy has become the goal of many organisations. However, in translating their grand plans into action, unacceptably high rates of failure have been reported among many companies. In most organisations, this responsibility has been left to lower levels of management. The purpose of this research was to establish what factors affected the implementation of strategy and more specifically, what role lower levels of management play in the implementation process. A qualitative study was undertaken where in-depth interviews were held with a senior executive and middle managers of a global company. Eight propositions were posited after a detailed review of literature on strategy implementation and middle managers. These were tested in relation to the results of the research and conclusions were then drawn. The data was analysed using content analysis and frequency tables. The research findings showed that middle managers play a critical role in facilitating the effective implementation of strategy. It also showed that the execution process is fraught with numerous challenges, some of which are lack of sufficient budgets, high staff turnover affecting continuity and the destructive nature of internal competition.