News and events

Effective Multi-Unit Leadership:
Local Leadership in Multi-Site Situations

Dr Chris Edger, Professor of Multi-Unit Leadership at Birmingham City Business School, has written a new book looking at what multi-site organizations need to do to thrive.

In "Effective Multi-Unit Leadership: Local Leadership in Multi-Site Situations", Chris Edger looks at that key managerial cohort in the retail, hospitality and service sectors operating between the centre and unit - the Multi-Unit Leader (MUL). This district, area or regional manager, is tasked with maximising revenue and profit from a complex and ambiguous positional space, being sandwiched between the centre and unit, facing the MUL paradox: how do they motivate unit managers and team members to provide great service whilst simultaneously fulfilling the Centre's compliance agenda?

"This book offers an in-depth assessment of the pressures, challenges and changes facing those of us in multi-unit leadership, together with a framework for making sense of, and developing, our practical experience. Multi-unit leaders, working in constant tension between units and the centre, should read this book and then look again, as I did, at how they lead their teams to deliver results for customers and investors."
Ian Burke Chairman and Chief Executive, The Rank Group plc

Based on extensive case study research across a range of multi-unit service organisations, Edger advances an Integrated Model of MUL that elucidates how key activities (sales-led service, systems and standards - 3Ss) are driven through behavioural practices (commitment, control and change - 3Cs) underpinned by MUL personal characteristics (expertise, emotional intelligence and energy - 3Es).

Central to this model is the notion of ‘portfolio optimisation through social exchange’ (POSE) where MULs apply ‘local leadership’, giving leverage to their portfolios through the deft application of exchange-based currencies.

Replete with case studies, Effective Multi-Unit Leadership will appeal to high potential unit managers; existing multi-unit leaders who want to improve their performance levels; and retail/service directors wishing to train and coach their direct reports; as well as business educators and those with an academic interest in organisational studies.