An examination of cognitive schemas of middle managers' roles in organizational change

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An examination of cognitive schemas of middle managers' roles in organizational change


Author: Xu, Hanhua Erica
Title: An examination of cognitive schemas of middle managers' roles in organizational change
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2009
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Organizational change.
Middle managers.
Department: Dept. of Management and Marketing
Pages: 152 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Concurring with emerging research on middle managers' contributions in organizational change, this research intends to provide evidences on middle managers' roles in organizational change. It also taps into middle managers' cognitions of change process to further understand how middle managers make sense of and evaluate their roles in organizational change. Through examining middle managers' cognitive schemas of their role in organizational change, we seek to better understand middle managers' role in organizational change and what they can contribute and what facilitates their role in organizational change. Specifically, we intend to reveal middle managers' salient schemas and multiple idiosyncratic schemas on their roles in organizational change. We conducted two studies: in Study 1, we found that there is a role transition for middle managers in organizational change. Three role change patterns were identified, which are "deal with personal change", "deal with changes to departments" and "help others through change". In addition, we found that middle managers' role changes are based on the expectations from four different sources: top managers, subordinates, important outsiders, and themselves. In Study 2, we used repertory grid technique (Kelly, 1955) to examine middle managers' cognitive schemas. This method allows us to explore middle managers' meaningful schemas without imposing researchers' frame of references. Three salient schemas were identified, which include "controllability", "standards and requirements" and "familiarity". Moreover, a number of idiosyncratic schemas were also identified. In addition, we did an additional analysis of role grouping to examine how middle managers group their emergent roles in organizational change based on the identified evaluative schemas. Implications of the current findings were provided.

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