Microfoundations of (inter)action between top and middle managers in strategic implementation

Samir Lótfi Vaz, Maria Elisa Brandão Bernardes, Sergio Bulgacov, Rosileia das Mercês Milagres


Objective: We used the microfoundations lens to contribute to studies on the interaction between top and middle managers, as well as to studies on the cognitive effets of strategy implementation.

Methodology: Empirical evidence result from a survey conducted with 104 middle managers of a large size telecommunications company operating in Brazil.

Originality: Making use of traditional and contemporary literature and in opposition to simplified assumptions about managers’interfaces, we revealed the relevance of managerial interactions and their idiosyncratic and inimitable nature.

Results: Our analyses revealed that a combination of micro adaptation practices by middle managers and their perceptions regarding top manager’s participative leadership positively influenced the way implementation is cognitively realised. Such effects are even more pronounced when the two groups of managers experience a good relationship.

Theoretical contributions: The survey, in pointing to microfoundational aspects that contribute to strategy implementation, opens up possibilities for future studies based on this theoretical perspective. It also contributes to the practice, by elucidating aspects, both behavioural and cognitive, susceptible to management and to improvements in the implementation processes.


Microfoundations; Strategy implementation; Top managers; Middle managers.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5585/riae.v20i1.18113


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