The purpose of this article is to present a taxonomy of profiles of innovative middle managers working in a pluralistic environment experiencing an organizational change. This research is based on interviews conducted with middle managers all working within the same administrative unit of a healthcare establishment going through a huge governmental reform. The content of these interviews was analyzed in an inductive and iterative process, including a number of stages of codification consistent with the grounded theory approach. Based on the rational perspective on innovation, five profiles of innovative managers emerged: supporting, inspired, curious, perplexed and foresighted. These profiles are not mutually exclusive, as each manager may shift between profiles in the course of the organizational change. The contribution of this research is twofold; first, in introducing the notion of managerial innovation into the research on middle managers who are generally depicted as rather reactive performers caught between “the tree and the bark” in the face of change; and, then, in demonstrating that profiles of innovative managers can exist within pluralistic organizations operating in a highly regulated and bureaucratic environment, which are often presented as not very innovative.
Middle manager, Change, Managerial Innovation