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Muddle in the middle: organizational restructuring and middle management careers

Helen Newell (Industrial Relations Research Unit, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)
Sue Dopson (Templeton College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 1 August 1996



Considers the extent to which one organization through rationalization and redundancy programmes has violated its psychological contracts with its middle manager employees by removing the prospect of a traditional career. Offers a review of the issues raised in the literature on careers and the psychological contract and a case study of the impact of change on individual middle managers. Describes the empirical work carried out in British Telecom on which the article is based. Concludes that both the nature of middle management jobs and the career opportunities available have changed considerably, resulting in breaches of the psychological contract. However, individual managers have reacted differently to the changes, depending on their ability and willingness to pursue informal networks and personal contacts.



Newell, H. and Dopson, S. (1996), "Muddle in the middle: organizational restructuring and middle management careers", Personnel Review, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 4-20.




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