This qualitative exploratory study was intended to ascertain the enabling abilities of middle managers to facilitate innovation and agility in an organisation in order to achieve competitive advantage. This research indicated the importance of middle management in the organisation and the facilitative role they fulfil. This case study research was conducted in the Halfway Group. The enablers of incremental innovation was of particular interest for the dealerships as they are seen as first movers in the South African context. The motivation for this study is that the researcher found inadequate academic literature focusing on the enabling abilities of middle management in order to continuously improve and in doing so gain a competitive advantage in an ever changing environment. It was the researcher s supposition that this research would aid dealerships to attain a more thoughtful understanding of how they could enable middle management to facilitate the desired innovation and agility to gain the sustained competitive advantage in the market.
A sample of eight middle managers in the Halfway Group was selected and semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with them as the data gathering method. The research proposals guided the coding and organising of the data. The analysis, discussions and results were structured to answer the research proposals.
This research revealed that middle managers are the likely enablers of innovation and agility in the organisation through the facilitation of the incremental innovation process. Continuous improvement enhances products and services to provide an organisation with a competitive advantage in the market. Resultantly, the dealerships are likely to gain reputational benefits of being continuous improvement leaders , which contributes to the value proposition offering. However, the dealers have to continuously innovate as their competitors are quick to imitate any successful innovations to stay relevant in the market. Various middle management and business recommendations were made to dealerships in the study to aid them take advantage of the enabling abilities they can unlock in middle management to facilitate incremental innovation and agility in the organisation.
Mini-disseration (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2015.