Middle management transformed a company’s business operations into a network-based system by mobilising new groups across organizational boundaries. These groups played a central role in the development and testing of the new practices.
By taking advantage of the opportunities presented to it, the middle management was also able to sell the idea and practices of the collaborative network to the decision-makers of the group. This shows that changes in business operations do not always need to be initiated by the top executives; the middle management is also capable of doing it.
These are some of the findings presented by Matti Virkki, Lic.Sc. (Econ.), in his doctoral dissertation for the Aalto University School of Business. Virkki examines the changes in the fertilizer business, the main field of operations of the Kemira Corporation. As a result of the transformation, Kemira’s fertilizer division, which until then had been a functions-based business unit in the corporation, developed into Kemira GrowHow, an independent network-oriented and offerings-based company.