Inderscience Publishers

Leadership style and action routines: best practice manufacturing and R&D projects

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This paper compares leadership styles and action routines in best practice manufacturing and product development. The study is based on changes in work and work processes, with manufacturing progressing towards higher complexity and product development attempting to decrease complexity. Data was collected through questionnaires and interviews. The results regarding leadership styles showed a stronger leadership style in the product development sample, but similar profiles in both samples. Also, for action routines the results were in favour of the product development sample. This implies that interaction patterns within groups are related to tasks - complex and non-routinised tasks induce behaviours that favour learning. Furthermore, adaptive leadership is used in successful environments. "Super leaders" are not necessary for success.

Keywords: continuous improvement, manufacturing, R&, D projects, leadership style, action routines, interaction patterns, best practice, organisational change, job design

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