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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Louis Baron, Véronique Rouleau, Simon Grégoire and Charles Baron

In a context of great complexity, many authors have focused on the beneficial effects of leadership flexibility (Denison et al., 1995), a capacity theoretically associated…

Abstract

Purpose

In a context of great complexity, many authors have focused on the beneficial effects of leadership flexibility (Denison et al., 1995), a capacity theoretically associated with mindfulness. The purpose of this paper is to better understand the relationship between mindfulness and behavioral flexibility in leaders.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from two samples: 100 active leaders from diverse economic sectors and 62 students pursuing an executive MBA degree.

Findings

The results show that mindfulness is positively associated with the overall score for leader flexibility, and with its two dualities: self-assertive and directive vs collaborative and supportive, and long-term strategy vs short-term execution. Specifically, four of the five dimensions of mindfulness (nonreactivity, nonjudging, acting with awareness and describing) were positively correlated with the overall flexibility score.

Practical implications

The results suggest that by developing mindfulness, managers might be better able to adapt their leadership style to the demands of different situations. To that end, interventions based on mindfulness are worthwhile options for use within organizations, particularly in the context of leadership development programs.

Originality/value

While most models of leadership assume a linear relationship between certain leadership behaviors and performance, other voices suggest that effective leaders need to possess great behavioral flexibility so that they can adapt with agility to the multiple needs of the people and situations around them. Few studies have examined the factors that may play a role in leadership flexibility.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2013

Jos Mesu, Maarten Van Riemsdijk and Karin Sanders

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between transformational and transactional leadership, and labour flexibility within small to medium‐sized…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between transformational and transactional leadership, and labour flexibility within small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Using a sample comprising 755 employees, rating 121 supervisors within 50 Dutch small and medium‐sized companies, the authors examined the relationship between transformational and transactional leadership on the one hand, and temporal and functional flexibility on the other. Further, to test whether the expected associations could be perceived as a social exchange between supervisor and employees, this study investigated the mediating role of affective organisational commitment.

Design/methodology/approach

Because data were nested, the authors used multilevel analysis for hypothesis testing.

Findings

Both dimensions of transformational leadership, visionary leadership and coaching, were positively related to temporal flexibility; also two dimensions of transactional leadership, contingent reward and active management by exception, were also positively associated with temporal flexibility. All of these associations were mediated by affective organisational commitment, indicating social exchange relationships. As opposed to expectations, passive management by exception, representing poor transactional leadership, was positively related to temporal and functional flexibility. Affective commitment did not mediate these relationships.

Practical implications

SMEs are therefore advised to improve visionary leadership, coaching skills, contingent reward, and active management by exception.

Originality/value

The paper shows that, remarkably, labour flexibility can be increased by both effective and poor leadership. On the one hand, effective leadership seems to promote temporal flexibility by creating employees’ commitment to the organisation. Poor leadership, on the other hand, does not call for people's affective commitment and thus seems to be forcing employees into demonstrating flexible behaviours, as a way of compensating for bad management.

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2021

Thomas Anning-Dorson

This study aims to assess how innovative organizational culture and innovative leadership generate market flexibility for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess how innovative organizational culture and innovative leadership generate market flexibility for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the service sector to enhance their competitiveness. Both organizational culture and leadership are seen as firm-level resources capable of influencing the flexibility of the firm in periods of market turbulence. The study argues that SME service firms must use their internal resources to develop their flexibility capability which is more valuable, rare, inimitable and not substitutable.

Design/methodology/approach

SME service firms from Ghana are used to test the study’s hypotheses through robust standard regression analysis. A sampling frame was developed from an online database of small and medium enterprises operating in the service sector.

Findings

The findings suggest that although organizational culture and leadership may influence a service firm’s competitiveness, it is more viable to use these firm-level resources to create market flexibility capability to amplify the effect. This means, when culture and leadership propel the flexibility drive, the service firm is able to connect, coordinate and synchronize functional units to take advantage of new product and market opportunities. Additionally, market flexibility emanating from organizational culture and leadership wields enough power and resource support to tackle the turbulent market conditions better than firms with less support.

Practical implications

The managerial implication from this study is that firms should use their organizational culture and leadership to create flexible organizations that afford them the opportunity to adapt to the environmental dynamics. If both leadership and culture work together, they are able to create strong market capabilities such as flexibility which determines how well the firm will respond to the competition, customer demand and all other external pressures. It is, therefore, the view of this paper that SMEs should use their organizational culture and leadership to build a market-flexible organization to create a competitive advantage.

Originality/value

This paper shows how internal resources/assets such as culture and leadership generate the needed flexibility to create a competitive advantage for SMEs. This paper explains the two dimensions of Volberda’s flexibility from a firm-level resource perspective and highlights flexibility as a second-order capability whose cultivation and effectiveness are dependent on a firm’s culture and leadership. Evidence of how a firm’s market flexibility is fuelled by organizational leadership and culture is demonstrated. Finally, this paper shows how resource-poor SMEs in emerging African economies can enhance their market competitiveness through internal systems and processes.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4604

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2018

Suqin Liao, Zhiying Liu, Lihua Fu and Peichi Ye

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the new distributed leadership patterns is an important driver for innovating business model. By synthesizing insights from…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the new distributed leadership patterns is an important driver for innovating business model. By synthesizing insights from the dynamic capabilities perspective, it also explores how and when distributed leadership enhances the business model innovation (BMI) by involving strategic flexibility as a mediator and environmental dynamism as important contingency.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey via questionnaire was conducted with 262 CEOs and 262 senior managers from Chinese high-tech companies that provided the research data. Structural equation modeling and linear regression analyses were used to test the time-lagged data, and then the main research questions were responded to.

Findings

The analysis reveals that distributed leadership has a significant direct influence on BMI, and that distributed leadership also indirectly affects BMI by enhancing strategic flexibility. Environmental dynamism strengthens the positive effect of distributed leadership on BMI under strategic flexibility.

Originality/value

This paper advances and enriches the emerging stream of BMI research. It presents an innovative conceptual analysis of the antecedents of BMI, and it shows a possible solution for BMI that complements extant research that considers which and how the leadership style of the organizations affects the business model change.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2021

Dapeng Zhang, Xinbo Sun, Feng Tian and Shunyi Zhou

The internet-based transition is the major trend for Chinese organizations with increasing demands imposed on their organization and management. As the organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

The internet-based transition is the major trend for Chinese organizations with increasing demands imposed on their organization and management. As the organizational structures gradually improve flexibility, employees desire respect and development to a greater degree, which has given rise to a new leadership model-integrative leadership. This paper aims to investigate the impact of integrative leadership on employee’s innovation performance through a multilevel analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper proposes the two situational factors employee psychological empowerment and human resource flexibility as the mediating factors impact the relationship between integrative leadership and employee innovation performance. Valid questionnaires were collected from 619 employees from 135 leader groups of High-tech companies in China.

Findings

The results show that integrative leadership has positive impact on employees’ innovation performance through its multilevel impacts on two mediation factors include psychological empowerment of employees and human resource flexibility.

Research limitations/implications

This research used cross-sectional studies due to constraints of research conditions. The measurements of all variables are done simultaneously, whereas the effects of integrative leadership on the development of corporations should be presented in a dynamic process. Therefore, in the future research, vertical research design should be adopted to deeply explore the effectiveness mechanism of integrative leadership in the context of corporate internet-based transition.

Practical implications

In the internet era, leaders cannot blindly pursue organizational performance. They must establish a flexible organizational structure and institutions to provide a platform for employee development, and integrative leaders need to pay attention to inspire the potential of employees and stimulate the enthusiasm of employees.

Originality/value

This study investigates a new leadership-integrative leadership and the relationship between integrative leadership and innovation performance in the context of Internet-based transitional Chinese organizations, thereby making important theoretical contributions as well as offering practical suggestions for improving leadership efficiency and innovation performance.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2012

Yohanes Kristianto, Mian Ajmal, Richard Addo Tenkorang and Matloub Hussain

The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of technology adoption on operational competitiveness by taking an example from international manufacturing companies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of technology adoption on operational competitiveness by taking an example from international manufacturing companies.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops a conceptual model to generate strategic flexibility and benefit for a manufacturing firm by managing manufacturing strategy and technology adoption with different leadership roles.

Findings

The results show that the leadership role is a significant factor to motivate strategic flexibility and generate higher benefit. For intellectuals, the mechanism provides a new approach to explicate technology adoption in a manufacturing company. Besides, it provides a deep‐rooted preliminary point for supplementary empirical assessment. The mechanism facilitates managers to expand their understanding of the leadership role for trust building and knowledge sharing in manufacturing firms.

Practical implications

With that enhanced understanding, the managers can spotlight their actions, which help further to perk up their firm's competitiveness provoked by supporting the knowledge sharing activities through appropriate leadership roles.

Originality/value

The mechanism developed in this study is believed to be the first sober effort to provide a deeper theoretical understanding of trust building for improving operational competitiveness in manufacturing firms with a practical approach.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Lin Xiu, Xin Liang, Zhao Chen and Wei Xu

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of innovative HR practices as an important mechanism through which strategic flexibility affects firm performance as well…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of innovative HR practices as an important mechanism through which strategic flexibility affects firm performance as well as the role of female leadership in this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from a sample of 113 firms in China. The authors collected information on organizational strategy, HR practices, CEO information, corporate social responsibility and other firm characteristics in terms of firm age, location, and financial performance. Conditional procedural analysis was conducted to test the model.

Findings

The authors found strong evidence in support of the mediation relationship in which organizations with a strong focus on strategic flexibility are more likely to adopt Innovative HR Practices. Furthermore, the authors found that the extent to which firms have adopted innovative HR practices has a strong effect on employee productivity. In addition, the authors found that female leadership enhances strategic flexibility-performance relationship.

Research limitations/implications

Information on strategic flexibility, HR practices and firm performance was collected at the same time. Future studies based on panel data would be helpful to establish the causal relationships in the model.

Practical implications

The authors’ findings suggest that practitioners should put more emphasis on developing innovative HR practices, as they are required by strategic flexibility.

Social implications

Firms pursuing strategic flexibility should feel more confident when appointing a female CEO, because the results show that female leadership may enhance the positive impact of strategic flexibility on firm performance.

Originality/value

This research study is the first empirical examination of the mediating influence of innovative HR practices on the relationship between strategic flexibility and firm performance. The study also shows that female leadership benefits an organization in implementing strategic flexibility. The results are of value to researchers, human resource management managers, employees, and executives who are seeking to develop practices that are flexible and innovative in order to stay competitive in dynamic environments.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 46 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 November 2020

Corey Fox, Phillip Davis and Melissa Baucus

The purpose of the present research is to explore the relationships between corporate social responsibility (CSR), authentic leadership and business model flexibility

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present research is to explore the relationships between corporate social responsibility (CSR), authentic leadership and business model flexibility during times of unprecedented crises.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach in this study is conceptual. After a brief review of the literature associated with CSR, authentic leadership and business models, the authors introduce a model describing the interaction of authentic leadership and business model flexibility on CSR heterogeneity.

Findings

This research explains how firms that are led by authentic leaders and that have flexible business models will be more engaged with their stakeholders than firms with less authentic leaders or more rigid business models during unprecedented crises.

Practical implications

Prescriptions for practitioners are suggested for improving authentic leadership as well as making adaptations to the firm's business model. Regarding authentic leadership, firms can screen potential new hires and existing employees for authentic leadership qualities. Firms can also rely upon existing interventions shown to assist in authentic leadership development for current leaders. At the business model level, firms can focus on core resources and their application in related product and service markets.

Originality/value

Firms engaged in CSR activities benefit more from those activities when leaders are authentic. However, in times of unprecedented crises, business model flexibility may also dictate the extent to which firms can satisfy their stakeholders. The authors introduce a conceptual model that takes the elements of authentic leadership and business model flexibility into account to explain CSR heterogeneity.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 58 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 2 June 2021

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

This research paper analyzes the dynamics between innovative organizational culture, leadership, and flexibility to adapt to market demands. The results from the analysis of resource-poor SMEs in Ghana reveal that organizational leadership and culture both positively drive a service company's competitive advantage. Also, market flexibility fully impacts the relationship between organizational culture and competitive advantage, with a partial impact seen on the relationship between organizational leadership and competitive advantage. Firms are advised to create flexible attitudes in their people culture, leadership, and processes, as a way of competitively adapting at low cost to market shifts and customer demands.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives, strategists and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2020

Priya Alat and Damodar Suar

The purpose of this paper is to explore leader flexibility in the manufacturing sector. The objectives are to understand the nature of uncertainties that leaders face and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore leader flexibility in the manufacturing sector. The objectives are to understand the nature of uncertainties that leaders face and how their personal attributes facilitate them in responding to uncertain situations.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 20 middle- and senior-level executives were interviewed, using seven semi-structured questions, from four states in India. Responses were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Findings

In this paper, two themes were identified: the need for flexibility and competencies. The need for flexibility included the factors that warrant adaptability and the performance requirements, such as changes in external environment, reconciling opposing demands, unpredictability of human resources and day-to-day contingencies. Performance requirements included monitoring the environment, anticipating changes, creating shared meanings, developing adaptability in human resources, understanding contradictions and generating alternate solutions. Competencies included balancing different values, roles, and behaviors, coaching and team building skills, planning skills, systems thinking, social skills, conflict management skills and openness to learning.

Research limitations/implications

Interviews were conducted with only executives; interviewing their subordinates may have revealed different perspectives. With the accounts being retrospective, few details may have been missed or exaggerated.

Practical implications

The findings can be used to apprise leaders of the challenges they may face and develop competencies required for leader flexibility.

Originality/value

Leadership research in the manufacturing sector is mostly focused on leaders’ responses to environmental uncertainties. This research identifies the task demands associated with unpredictability of human factors and daily contingencies, and the competencies used to respond.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

Keywords

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