Cecile Demailly, a consultant in organisational change within large companies, built a survey to better understand how middle management cope with digital transformation. The latter is a phenomenon that is touching all the industries. Yes, it brings changes. That’s why disruption is also a keyword that you might have came across when looking at digital transformation. When developing her research, Demailly brings corporate knowledge, strategic consulting expertise, adaptation to new business models with the regular research practice. In order to get a complete analysis of middle management’s perception of digital transformation lived in their jobs, the questionnaire she designed covered 7 areas of questions. She made the questions as comprehensive as possible, for the managers to understand, and give accurate answers. The areas she touched on are the following: Technology adoption, mindset, status, relations, organisational environment, change and adaptability. The answers she collected and analysed are very interesting to look at. Let’s go through them briefly in this article. Feel free to dig deeper.
The digital divide
By definition, a digital divide is an economic and social inequality with regards to digital and technology. In other words, it’s the digital gap that exists between two parties. We can also talk about global digital divide. It’s simply the digital gap that exists between a developing and a developed country (or group of countries).
In the context of Cecile Demailly’s study, we are mainly talking about the digital divide that appeared with executive management.
Middle management has some positive feedback about the implementation of digital practices within their company. However, it came with some challenges and a lot of ambiguity in regards to their tasks. They were expected to stand up and take action. In other words, to be leaders. Usually, people are not unhappy with that. But, here, the problem is: the lack of recognition. Middle management “leaders” made efforts that were not really looked up to.