Middle Managerial Behavior for Employee Strategic Alignment: A systematic review

Floor Slagter, Desirée H. van Dun, Dirk van Dierendonck

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    34 Downloads (Pure)


    While there exists a vast amount of research on strategy formulation, we know relatively little about how a formulated strategy is translated into results via strategic alignment. Middle managers are often noted as crucial actors in aligning employees to strategic organizational goals, yet their effective behaviors towards this end remain understudied. In response to various calls, this work reviews the available literature on the behaviors of middle managers in the context of strategic alignment of work-floor employees. We adopted a systematic literature review technique, starting with a thorough search with predefined search terms through ABI/Inform Complete and Scopus. The resulting thirteen empirical articles were content-analyzed by two independent raters, leading to a total of 169 behavioral items. Four meta-categories of middle-managerial behaviors were identified that support employee strategic alignment: (1) Direction-oriented behaviors (e.g., monitoring and checking performance); (2) Participation-oriented behaviors (e.g., offering help); (3) Encouragement-oriented behaviors (e.g., getting and giving feedback); and (4) Approachability-oriented behaviors (e.g., showing vulnerability). We present an integrative model of effective middle manager behaviors for employee strategic alignment, which includes, as extra yield, supportive middle managerial personality traits, knowledge and performance areas. Our specific and inclusive model fuels the needed future behavioral and quantitative studies, which can build upon a number of qualitative works that have been published to date, as our review has shown. Understanding exactly which middle managerial behaviors contribute to translating strategy into practice also helps coaches and HR officers in developing managers. This knowledge potentially improves the work lives of many employees.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages40
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2018
    Event78th Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2018: Improving Lives - Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago, United States
    Duration: 10 Aug 201814 Aug 2018
    Conference number: 78


    Conference78th Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2018
    Abbreviated titleAOM 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited States


    Dive into the research topics of 'Middle Managerial Behavior for Employee Strategic Alignment: A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this