Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 4 2006, page 62-78.
An important component in the further implementation of the Danish municipal reform will be that mid- and lower level managers have the ability to lead members of staff through a, at times, riotous period of change. Focus will be on personnel issues such as well-being, gaining and maintaining mutual understanding, confidence and commitment. The basic benchmark for managers, as the ones mentioned, is whether they succeed in driving the reform forward by formulating the revised objectives and aims in terms that makes sense and provides clarity for relevant groups of employees. The art is finding the right balance between promoting radical changes and keeping the company working.
The moment of truth is closing in: All the new organizational structures, plans, systems and institutional set-ups are to be put in motion.
Against such a background the present article deals with a particular relation, namely the one between employees and their immediate manager, in a particular stage of an intensive organizational change process, namely transition.
Building on both scientific and popular science publications the ambition is to point out how the mentioned relation in the mentioned phase can promote or hamper further advancement of the reform and its basic goals. The article draws on theories from social- and organizational psychology in relation to change and transition. Special attention is given to one particular social agent – so-called middle managers.