The moderating effect of organizational change cynicism on middle manager strategy commitment

Lisa Ceinwen Barton, Veronique Ambrosini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


This paper focuses on middle managers as key actors in organizational strategizing. Through an empirical study we explore some of the barriers to effective implementation of strategic change initiatives. This research is motivated by the recognition that to understand strategizing in organizations we need to appreciate both when it is successful and when it is not, but that we still know little about the latter. To develop better insights into what lies behind the actions of strategists and to present implications for HR managers concerned about increasing the chance of successful change and reducing the prevalence of organizational change cynicism (OCC), we first explore antecedents to middle managers strategy commitment. We examine perceptions of the workplace context, including procedural justice and senior management support for the strategy and middle managers levels of strategy relevant knowledge, incorporating participation in decision-making and information available for implementation. We then investigate the moderated effect of OCC on middle managers strategy commitment. Our study suggests that failure of a new strategy or strategic direction is due to the inability or resistance of individual employees to commit to a strategy and adopt the necessary behaviours to accomplish an organization s strategic objective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721 - 746
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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