First-Line Managers as organizational strategy makers: a Comparative Case Study of Contextual Influences on Micro-Organizational Strategy Making
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The purpose of the paper is to investigate contextual influences on micro-organizational strategy making, focusing on first-line managers as strategy makers within three petro-maritime organizations. Our findings lead to five hypotheses regarding contextual influences on micro-organizational strategy making. The five hypotheses are: 1a) emphasis on efficiency, 2a) dominance of technical core, 3a) a hierarchical organizational structure and 4a) safety as dominant mode of governance, supported by a bureaucratic mode of governance, constitute first-line manager as pure technical and operational supervisors, with little or no partaking in organizational strategy making. On the other hand, 1b) a balance between efficiency and adaptation, 2b) exposing of technical core to boundary spanning functions, 3b) a simpler organizational structure, and 4b) market governance combined with emphasis on environmental values and safety, constitute first-line managers as influential micro-organizational strategy makers. Further, 5) the four contextual factors reinforce each other in constraining or promoting micro-organizational strategy making. The paper contributes to the emerging Strategy as Practice literature in revealing contextual influences on micro-organizational strategy making.