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Influence of middle management on dynamic capabilities

Marina de Almeida Cruz (Postgraduate Program in Administration, Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais and Unihorizontes University Center, Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
Victor Silva Corrêa (Postgraduate Program in Administration, Unip, São Paulo, Brazil)
Daniela Martins Diniz (Postgraduate Program in Property and Technology Transfer for Innovation, Federal University of São João del-Rei, São João del-Rei, Brazil)
Felipe Mendes Borini (Universidade de São Paulo ‐ USP, São Paulo, Brazil)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Article publication date: 11 March 2021



The dynamic capabilities (DC) literature focuses primarily on top managers. Although recent studies have drawn attention to middle management's (MM) relevance, these professionals have not been the focus of much attention in the DC literature. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether and how MM influences DC dimensions.


Through a qualitative strategy and case-study method, 13 MM professionals from four Brazilian companies embedded in competitive and dynamic contexts were investigated. The “micro-practices” approach was used to operationalize the DC construct.


The evidence shows that MM influences DC dimensions. This influence appears to emanate from 19 identified and named micro-practices.

Practical implications

By examining how micro-practices (micro-level) influence macro-level DC dimensions, this article raises the significance of including the micro-practices identified herein in management-training programs.


The first relates to the identification of micro-practices within the MM scope. The second relates to the association of micro-practices with management functions. The third relates to the association of micro-practices with DC dimensions. Thereby, this article highlights how DC work in organizations' daily activities. The fourth is the construction of a framework that demonstrates how to integrate the DC micro (micro-practices), meso (managerial functions) and macro (DC dimensions) scopes. Fifth, this paper affirms the emerging research stream that stresses MM's relevance for DC generation.



Cruz, M.d.A., Corrêa, V.S., Diniz, D.M. and Borini, F.M. (2021), "Influence of middle management on dynamic capabilities", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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