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Title: Developing middle managers in the Hong Kong Public sector : a critique of leadership development from a labour process perspective
Author: O'Neil, Jennifer Jamieson
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 8726
Awarding Body: Edinburgh Napier University
Current Institution: Edinburgh Napier University
Date of Award: 2017
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Critical scholars have written about the ‘squeezed middle' and the new labour process of front line and middle managers generally, but there is a gap in the literature relating to both how changes to managerial work have affected those subjected to them and how individuals and organisations have attempted to respond to, and cope with, public sector cuts and challenges. Much of contemporary HRD writing on change management suggests that leadership development has a privileged role in adjusting the ‘worker' to the situation. However, given the implicitly unitarist nature of much HRD writing, this thesis argues that insights from such literature is inadequate or incomplete because it fails to consider the interests of managers as employees. The focus of this thesis is on middle managers' (MM) ability to overcome the public sector challenges associated with work intensification; control and skills adaption via learning and development initiatives. This qualitative research comprises a data set of 17 in-depth interviews and 34 complementary semi-structured questionnaire's with middle managers in the Hong Kong Civil Service. Thematic analysis revealed that whilst managers and the organisation benefit from leadership development in terms of human capital development, power differentials and structural impediments limit the capacity to benefit from social capital and networking opportunities provided. As such LDP cannot compensate for work intensification, leading to a stressed-out, disempowered, squeezed middle management cadre, which in turn impacts on public service delivery.
Supervisor: Tom Garavan, Janice McMillan, Shuna Marr. Sponsor: Edinburgh Napier University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Management ; middle managers' ; MM ; civil service ; qualitative research