Lean-team effectiveness through leader values and members’ informing

Desirée H. van Dun (Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands) (House of Performance, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Celeste P.M. Wilderom (Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Publication date: 7 November 2016

Abstract

Purpose

Although empirical tests of effective lean-team leadership are scarce, leaders are often blamed when lean work-floor initiatives fail. In the present study, a lean-team leader’s work values are assumed to affect his or her team members’ behaviors and, through them, to attain team effectiveness. Specifically, two of Schwartz et al.’s (2012) values clusters (i.e. self-transcendence and conservation) are hypothesized to be linked to team members’ degree of information and idea sharing and, in turn, to lean-team effectiveness. The paper aims to report the examination of these hypotheses.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey responses (n=429) of both leaders and members of 25 lean-teams in services and manufacturing organizations were aggregated, thereby curbing common-source bias. To test the six hypotheses, structural equation modeling was performed, with bootstrapping, linear regression analyses, and Sobel tests.

Findings

The positive relationship between lean-team effectiveness and leaders’ self-transcendence values, and the negative relationship between lean-team effectiveness and leaders’ conservation values were partly mediated by information sharing behavior within the team.

Research limitations/implications

Future research must compare the content of effective lean-team values and behaviors to similar non-lean teams.

Practical implications

Appoint lean-team leaders with predominantly self-transcendence rather than conservation values: to promote work-floor sharing of information and lean-team effectiveness.

Originality/value

Human factors associated with effective lean-teams were examined, thereby importing organization-behavioral insights into the operations management literature: with HRM-type implications.

Keywords

Citation

Desirée H. van Dun and Celeste P.M. Wilderom (2016) "Lean-team effectiveness through leader values and members’ informing", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 36 No. 11, pp. 1530-1550

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-06-2015-0338

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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