Institute of Management Accounting and Control

Publication by Marko Reimer in the Journal of Management Studies

Understanding the mixed blessings of automation for middle managers

“Opportunity or Threat? Exploring Middle Manager Roles in the Face of Digital Transformation”, a paper co-authored by Marko Reimer, Director of the Institute of Management Accounting and Control (IMC) at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Management Studies (JMS).

With the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in recent years, the question arises of how automation impacts the strategic roles of middle managers. Does it present an opportunity by freeing up valuable time that the middle managers can allocate to more strategic tasks? Or does it pose a threat by replacing the middle manager in important tasks, making them appear less important and value-adding to the firm?

Based longitudinal survey data from the WHU Controller Panel, the paper gives exciting and nuanced insights into how the outcome of using automation strongly depends on the tasks that are being automated as well as on the middle managers’ level of experience.

Van Doorn, S., Georgakakis, D., Oehmichen, J., Reimer, M. (2022), Opportunity or Threat? Exploring middle manager roles in the face of digital transformation, Journal of Management Studies.