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Unique New Product Innovation Based on Holistic Leadership: A Case Study of Dyson

Mitsuru Kodama (Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan)

Developing Holistic Leadership

ISBN: 978-1-78714-422-4, eISBN: 978-1-78714-421-7

Publication date: 12 May 2017


This chapter analyzes and considers the relationship between original new product development processes and holistic leadership at Great Britain’s Dyson. An innovative aspect regarding staff structure in the Dyson organization, unlike many development manufacturers, is the absence of differentiation between designers and engineers. All employees are “engineers,” and all employees at all times are engaged in some sort of initiative in technology or experimentation. At Dyson there are product developers known as “designer engineers” who are responsible not only for technology, but also for design and development as they closely link function with design. All designers and engineers are involved in all processes from product concept planning and development until the final testing. In other words, unlike at many development companies, almost no knowledge boundaries exist between different specialist areas at Dyson.

Realization of such business processes at Dyson is achieved by practitioners at every management level including James Dyson (former CEO). Aiming for a single development goal, practitioners form business communities which originate with the formation of multilayered “Ba” that crisscross the company, irrespective of formal or informal organization, through holistic leadership. Through the formation of business communities, practitioners achieve strategic collaboration, which is the starting point of the company’s product development concepts.



Kodama, M. (2017), "Unique New Product Innovation Based on Holistic Leadership: A Case Study of Dyson", Developing Holistic Leadership, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 171-191.



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