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Leaders lost in transformation

M.L. Emiliani (School of Technology, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut, USA)
D.J. Stec (School of Technology, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 July 2005




To examine why most Lean transformations achieve only modest favorable results, despite years of effort.


Comparative/evaluative discussion of efforts made by senior managers to implement the Lean management system, with commentary on a published example.


Presents common obstacles and identifies common implementation errors that must be avoided in order to realize the full benefits of the Lean management system.

Research limitations/implications

Illustrates the ease by which Lean transformation efforts can lead to less desirable outcomes when senior managers fail to fully grasp the implicit and explicit aspects of both task and behavioral elements of a new management system.

Practical implications

Provides specific suggestions that will enable senior managers and organizations to achieve improved outcomes.


Identifies numerous common errors made by senior managers, the rationale for why the errors have occurred, and suggests improvements for implementing the Lean management system.



Emiliani, M.L. and Stec, D.J. (2005), "Leaders lost in transformation", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 370-387.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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