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TOP MANAGEMENT‟S ROLE IN MANAGING CHANGE: A CASE OF FAILURE Edwina Ann Hollings A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement of Staffordshire University for the degree of Master of Philosophy October 2012

HOLLINGS, Edwina (2012) TOP MANAGEMENT‟S ROLE IN MANAGING CHANGE: A CASE OF FAILURE Edwina Ann Hollings A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement of Staffordshire University for the degree of Master of Philosophy October 2012. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

Abstract
Underlying the dominant rational-logical approach to management is the assumption that the top
management team is an incontrovertible prescription. The view that the top management team acts as
both a unified and unifying body pursuing organizational goals for the collective good of the
organization, is a key tenet within the managerialist literature on change. The critical
examination of the role and importance of the top management team, focusing on the introduction of
Total Quality Management (TQM), provides the basis for the challenge to the assumption that the
notion of the top management team is unproblematic. The research undertaken is based on a
case-study of a manufacturing organization that engaged in the introduction of a TQM initiative in
the 1990s and focuses on the actions and behaviours of senior managers as the programme of change
proved to be unsuccessful. The dissertation examines key ideas within the literature on change and,
more specifically, explores the role of senior management in introducing TQM as identified by the
contemporary literature of the time. The dominant literature presents the role of senior management
and its commitment as essentials requirements. As such, the dissertation reviews the literature on
senior management teams and the centrality of the debate that suggests the unified characteristics
of team-working is an unchallenged predetermination of top managers in action. The analysis of
interviews with significant individuals and groups over the change period, through the application
of techniques associated with hermeneutic phenomenology, lead to a justification for challenging
the dominant managerialist ideology of how managers manage and lead. The research presents evidence
from the case that identifies that team-working at the top of the organization is not the reality
of these senior managers and that the implicit assumption of senior management commitment is also
flawed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: N600 Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Linda FRADLEY
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2015 15:40
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2015 15:46
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/1998

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