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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2016

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New Ways of Working Practices
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-303-7

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Human Resource Management, Social Innovation and Technology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-130-5

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 20 November 2019

Jan De Leede, Linda Drupsteen, Esther Schrijver, Anneke Goudswaard, Nihat Dağ, Joost Van der Weide and Sarike Verbiest

The purpose of this paper is to understand how small and medium enterprises (SMEs) cope with the need for labour flexibility. Most previous studies ignore the labour…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how small and medium enterprises (SMEs) cope with the need for labour flexibility. Most previous studies ignore the labour flexibility practices of SMEs, especially in times of economic growth and tight labour markets.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple case study approach is applied, with ten Dutch SMEs located in one small province with a similar labour market. A survey was executed as an intake, followed by 48 interviews with the entrepreneurs, HR and other managers and employees, and two focus groups in each company. The findings are based on an analysis of the approved case descriptions.

Findings

SMEs, like big companies, do not rely on one flexibility practice. Volume fluctuations are countered with all flexibility strategies, the mix fluctuations and the product innovations are mostly countered with flexible functions and flexible production technology. In general, the data suggest that flexibility strategies of SMEs can be characterised as ad hoc, reactive and with a short-term orientation.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should include other sectors and regions enabling to generalise the findings. Future research should have a longitudinal design to include the pathway dependencies of flexibility practices.

Practical implications

This study identifies the need to analyse flexibility demands; reduce flexibility demands before investments in flexibility practices; create production process flexibility; invest in labour flexibility practices only after the first three steps are taken; and develop basic and more advanced levels of flexible contracts, flexible functions and flexible working times.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the authors’ knowledge on the use of labour flexibility practices in SMEs. In addition, it brings empirical data on how these labour flexibility practices relate to the needs for flexibility and how they relate to other sources of organisational flexibility, such as a flexible market approach and flexible production technologies. Dynamic capabilities should include the suggested operationalisation of the flexibility practices.

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Personnel Review, vol. 49 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

Jan de Leede, Jan Kees Looise and Maarten Verkerk

Sociotechnical systems theory (STS) does not address in full the implications of the team‐context relations, despite its open systems character. There is a need to open…

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Abstract

Sociotechnical systems theory (STS) does not address in full the implications of the team‐context relations, despite its open systems character. There is a need to open STS into a sociotechnical business systems (STBS) theory and practice. We observe three interrelated aspects that are important for STBS. First, the design of the production structure is a traditional STS aspect. Second, the design of the control structure on the team level needs an elaboration compared with STS. The third aspect is the social‐dynamic alignment. We describe the mini‐company concept and argue that this concept is a specification of STBS covering the three aspects. The case of the implementation of mini‐companies in a Dutch manufacturing plant illustrates the strengths of the concept.

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Personnel Review, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1999

Jan de Leede and Jan Kees Looise

The key issue of continuous improvement (CI) seems to be the problem of combining extensive employee involvement with market orientation and continuation of CI. In this…

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The key issue of continuous improvement (CI) seems to be the problem of combining extensive employee involvement with market orientation and continuation of CI. In this article we review some existing organisational designs for CI on these three essential characteristics of CI. As an alternative to the shortcomings of current organisational designs for CI we present the mini‐company concept, related to the sociotechnical concept of the self‐managing team. The mini‐company concept incorporates the three key issues: it has a self‐propelling capacity for CI, involving everyone on the shop floor. A constant and market‐oriented source for improvement is found in the clients and suppliers of the mini‐company. Results of an in‐depth case‐study are presented, showing some strong effects of the mini‐company concept.

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International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 19 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Book part
Publication date: 14 August 2014

Jan De Leede and Jorien Kraijenbrink

The aim of the chapter is to understand the role of trust and social cohesion in the effects of New Ways of Working.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the chapter is to understand the role of trust and social cohesion in the effects of New Ways of Working.

Design

The study consists of a cross-sectional survey (N = 549) at a Dutch insurance company with four locations. NWW was introduced in one of the locations 15 years ago, the other locations only recently. We present and test a model in which trust and social cohesion are mediators between NWW and performance.

Findings

The implementation of NWW leads to better performance (Beta 0.16, p < 0.001). However, the main effect is explained completely by the mediating role of trust (between employees-managers and between colleagues) and social cohesion. The number of days working at home has no significant relationship to performance.

Research Implications

The theory and findings of this chapter call for further elaboration in research: more contextualization of these data is needed and more comprehensive theoretical models, such as the role of personality, task and function.

Practical Implications

If employees feel to be trusted by their supervisors and colleagues, the performance will increase, ‘even’ if they work at home or in flexible offices. The implementation of NWW will therefore only be beneficial if there are trustful relations and attention is paid to social cohesion of the group.

Originality

The study is among the first to prove the relationship between NWW and performance and more importantly, it is one of the first in explaining that relationship by pointing on the mediating role of trust and social cohesion.

Details

Human Resource Management, Social Innovation and Technology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-130-5

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2016

Florian Moll and Jan de Leede

New ways of working (NWW) change some fundamental processes in the workplace. NWW practices like teleworking, flexible workspaces, and flexible working hours lead to…

Abstract

New ways of working (NWW) change some fundamental processes in the workplace. NWW practices like teleworking, flexible workspaces, and flexible working hours lead to different behaviors of employees. But does the employment of NWW practices also have an impact on the innovation behavior of employees? This chapter explores this relationship and uses qualitative data from case studies to illustrate the complex linkages between three components of NWW and IWB.

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2016

Jan de Leede and Paddy Heuver

New Ways of Working seems to change the leadership agenda. Activity-based working and home-based work lead to different behaviors of employees. Supervising styles will…

Abstract

New Ways of Working seems to change the leadership agenda. Activity-based working and home-based work lead to different behaviors of employees. Supervising styles will change from command-and-control toward goal-setting-and-trust. This chapter describes the trend and provides new data on the actual use and effectiveness of these new supervision styles. It appears to be a mix of different leadership styles, such as leading by vision, setting targets and control on output, providing trust.

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2016

Tanya Bondarouk and Jan de Leede

Based on seven chapters in this volume and a broader literature review, we present a research agenda where research challenges are identified with the relevant research…

Abstract

Based on seven chapters in this volume and a broader literature review, we present a research agenda where research challenges are identified with the relevant research questions. In the second place, this chapter presents the implications of NWW for HR, in particular the required competences for HR-professionals. We elaborate on several research questions that, in our view, help to address challenges to advance our understanding of NWW. The need for more theory-driven research is stipulated, including some possible directions for appropriate methods, such as configurational analysis. we argue that it is essential for HR-professionals to know the required HR-competences for managing and coaching those who are involved in NWW-practices. This chapter provides crucial insights for these competences.

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New Ways of Working Practices
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-303-7

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 20 November 2020

Abstract

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Sustainable Hospitality Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-266-4

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