Interim management is the temporary provision of management resources and skills. Interim management can be seen as the short-term assignment of a proven heavyweight interim executive manager to manage a period of transition, crisis or change within an organization. In this situation, a permanent role may be unnecessary or impossible to find on short notice. Additionally, there may be nobody internally who is suitable for, or available to take up, the position in question. 


The modern practice of interim management started in the mid to late-1970s, when permanent employee in The Netherlands were protected by long notice periods and companies faced large costs for terminating employees. Hiring Management on a temporary basis presented itself as an ideal solution.

Since the 1980s, the concept and use of interim Management as a resourcing tool for organizations has received attention from academic researchers and policy makers as well as practitioners. In 1984, Atkinson postulated the emergence of an organization design comprising both a core and a peripheral workforce, using differing forms of contractual relationship (flexibility) on an international basis. Examples of further study include Kalleberg (2000), looking at temporary, contract and part-time work; and Bosch (2004) looking at Western European “employment” relationships.

A good example of interim management benefitting from a geo-political change was its use by the German privatization agency after reunification of East and West, post 1989. The demand was created for interim Management in Eastern Germany to apply the required management and leadership competencies necessary to re-structure the formerly state owned companies. Demand continued to grow in the 1990s in Germany as the economy struggled to deal with unification, recession and resultant ambitious economic forecasts for the ‘new’ economy. One prominent example, mentioned by Bruns (2006) was the appointment of Helmut Sihler as interim CEO of German Telekom AG in 2001.

In Nigeria we have experienced Interim management both in the public and private sector. Some of the popular Interim management assignment in public sector includes but not limited to:

  • Nigeria Interim Government under Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan;

  • On the 14th of August, 2009, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervened in the management of a popular Nigeria Bank by replacing the Executive Management Team with a five-man Interim Management Team to stabilize and recapitalize the Bank.;

  • On 9 February 2010, a motion from the Nigerian Senate confirmed the powers to President Goodluck Johnathan request Mr. President to serve as Interim President of the federation;

  • Appointment of the Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the Nigeria Premier League (Hon. Nduka Irabor);

  • The appointment of Dr. Sarah Omotunde Alade as Interim CBN Governor;

The above are just to mention few interim management assignments in Nigeria within a public sector context. The corporate and interim management assignment in private sector is equally popular and rising.


There are a number of different business situations that could result in the need for an interim manager. Typically these could be situations such as crisis management, sudden departure, illness, death, change management, managing change or transition, sabbaticals, MBO’s and Initial public Offering IPOs, merger and acquisitions, and project management.

The interim management concept has now taken root in the UK, Germany, and Belgium, and is spreading elsewhere, most notably in Australia, the US, France, and Ireland. In Spain recruitment increased by 68% in 2011, according to Michael Page Interim management, and since 2013 there is the first association called “Association Interim Management Spain. The Institute of corporate and Interim Management is the premier professional body in Nigeria promoting this fast growing area of specialization.