Spotting Certain Opportunities by Middle Management in Entrepreneurship

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MM contribution to corporate entrepreneurship and the importance of middle managers
Middle managers are crucial in the corporate entrepreneurial process. According to Ren & Guo (2011), middle managers are great contributors to CE, due to their positions in the organizational structure in which they can influence a corporate strategy in two ways. First, they influence corporate strategy through strategy implementation. This behaviour is mainly top-down, although initiated by top management; the actual outcomes are highly influenced by middle managers decisions (Ren & Guo, 2011; Bower & Gilbert, 2007). Second, middle managers influence corporate strategy through strategy formation. This behaviour is mainly a bottom-up process. In the strategy formation process as described here, initiatives arise from lower organizational levels. In this process the middle manager has crucial roles, the role of evaluator (prescreening phase) and seller (screening phase). In the prescreening phase the middle manager that is in contact with top management evaluates the new initiative. If the initiative is to be evaluated as a possible (future) competitive advantage, the middle manager will ‘sell’ the initiative in the screening phase to top management. It should be kept in mind that this evaluation process of initiatives is influenced by in-group biases of the evaluator. Evaluators of the initiatives favour ideas submitted by individuals of their own subunit, due to their identification with a subunit rather than with the firm as a whole (Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). The evaluator or middle manager thus can influence a corporate strategy also negatively, by favouring his own subunit, rather than the firm. This is probably overlooked by Ren & Guo, but r...

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