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Title: Lean on me : an impact study of mutuality supportive leadership behaviour on employee Lean engagement
Author: Leslie, Ian
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 3441
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2015
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Total Quality Management (TQM) has been around in the West since the early 1970s. Over the last 40 years it has advanced from its early form, based around ‘quality circles’, to more advanced forms such as Lean and the now common Business Excellence (BE) models. However, up to 60% of implementations fail to deliver initially anticipated results. Research into Lean/TQM suggests that management commitment and conducive culture are key factors inhibiting subordinate engagement. Yet it is recognised that the ‘softer’ side of TQM is vital for its success and a key dimension of Lean/TQM philosophy. This thesis is a longitudinal study of an organisation in the throes of implementing Lean and struggling to engage its employees. Taking a mutuality perspective, the Behavioural Perspective Model (BPM) provides a framework for understanding the manager-subordinate context and Lean engagement. The BPM, complemented by the incorporation of Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory (SDT), aids understanding of respondents’ learning history in a complex Lean/TQM environment. An objective of this research was to use the insight gained from taking a behavioural/SDT perspective to improve the ‘softer’, respectful side of TQM deployment as in managerial relational practice, thus enabling improvement in leader-subordinate, day-to-day relations and increased Lean approach behaviour. The thesis is built around three interrelated projects. Project One investigates the deployment context, identifying engagement barriers and opportunities. Project Two, a longitudinal intervention based on mutuality supportive leader-subordinate behaviour, identifies positive affect across three surveys. Project Three, a survey-based study of the whole organisation (n=328), considers both ‘active’ and ‘not-active’ employees, finding significant differences in all key variables between the two groups, identifying ‘work climate’ and motivation as key influences on Lean engagement. This research provides tentative evidence that managerial commitment to a supportive work climate influences subordinate engagement and quality of engagement in Lean/TQM.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available