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Department Business and Economics

New publication on the role of middle management in innovation

How important is the role of the middle management for innovation?

The TIE Institute has published a new study on this question in the Journal of Management Studies together with colleagues from RWTH Aachen. The study transfers the concept of dynamic managerial capabilities, originally developed to understand top managers' strategic decisions, to the middle management and its role in fostering a firm’s exploratory and exploitative product innovation.

Based on survey data obtained in two waves with a time lag of three years and enriched with archival data from a sample of German middle managers, the study shows that middle managers' general human capital, structural social capital, and relational social capital promote product ambidexterity, while their cognitive social capital impairs it. Thus, the study helps better understand how middle managers foster both exploratory and exploitative innovation, which is known to be a complex but important challenge for firms.

The full paper can be accessed here: