Role Conflict in Middle Managers in the Banking Industry - Evidence from a Developing Country

  • Josephine Appiah-Agyekum

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Middle managers act as mediators between top management and operational staff. They are expected to: support and implement strategic decisions; co-ordinate staff, resources and initiatives; to achieve organisational objectives. This thesis sought to better understand the organisational roles and role conflicts of middle managers in the banking industry using the Ghanaian context as an example of developing countries.
This study adopts a qualitative, interpretivist, research design and utilizes data from 20 semi-structured in-depth interviews with middle managers in different departments in selected Ghanaian Banks. A traditional inductive thematic analysis is used to understand and interpret the data collected.
Findings suggest that middle managers’ roles in Ghana’s banking industry are experienced as mainly operational in nature. The study also reveals that middle managers may have different perspectives on role conflict experiences, which may perhaps be attributed to the personal meanings attached to role conflict experiences. While highlighting the importance of mentoring as a coping resource for middle managers (among other coping strategies identified and categorised in the analysis), the study findings suggest mentoring may not always yield the intended outcomes owing to dysfuctional mentoring pairs.
The research contributes to theory in three main ways. It positions itself with Management and Organisational studies and contributes a new understanding to the existing literature on: mentorship, experiences of role conflict, and the nature of middle manager roles.
Date of Award24 Aug 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorSusan Richardson (Main Supervisor) & Joanna Szulc (Co-Supervisor)

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