Title: Leadership and its impact on the use of process technologies and management practices in the manufacturing sector

Authors: Nicholas O'Regan, Abby Ghobadian

Addresses: Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK. ' Henley Management College, Greenlands Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 3AU, UK

Abstract: Leadership is widely acknowledged as the key driver of innovation and the achievement of overall organisational performance. In doing so, it draws on both process technologies and the use of management techniques. This paper examines the relationship between leadership, the operating environment, the use of process technologies, management practices, innovation and performance within a single study. The results indicate that a transformational/human resources leadership style is more conducive to innovation and the introduction of new products whereas transactional leadership firms tend to modify products. Transactional type firms focus on |hard| processes suggesting that they largely compete on efficiency related activities, whereas transformational/human resources type firms emphasise management practices to a greater extent. The number of transformational type firms relying on the problem solving techniques is likely to reach over 90%. Arguably, this reflects their continuing emphasis on innovation and new product development.

Keywords: leadership; innovation; hard technologies; management practices; process technology; process management; organisational performance; transformational style; human resources; manufacturing; new product introduction; NPI; new product development; NPD.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2007.013363

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2007 Vol.9 No.4, pp.419 - 433

Published online: 23 Apr 2007 *

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