The Role of Middle Management in the Implementation of Sustainability Strategies

34 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2017

See all articles by Arthur Posch

Arthur Posch

WU Vienna

Gerhard Speckbacher

Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU)

Date Written: January 20, 2017

Abstract

This paper aims at contributing to a better understanding of the role of middle management in implementing sustainability strategies. We propose three main levers for the substantive implementation of sustainability strategies: virtues- and values-based staffing procedures for middle managers, their cultural alignment with corporate strategy, and a “middle-up-down role” for middle managers in performance measurement. Moreover, we argue that secondary stakeholder pressure impedes cultural alignment and thus such pressure generates a tradeoff to be managed. Our hypotheses are tested using survey data from 134 large companies.

Keywords: Sustainability, strategy implementation, middle management

JEL Classification: M41, Q56

Suggested Citation

Posch, Arthur and Speckbacher, Gerhard, The Role of Middle Management in the Implementation of Sustainability Strategies (January 20, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2902552 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2902552

Arthur Posch (Contact Author)

WU Vienna ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

Gerhard Speckbacher

Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU) ( email )

Nordbergstrasse 15
A-1090 Wien
Austria

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