Governing highly performing lean team behaviors: A mixed-methods longitudinal study

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    Work teams go through multiple performance cycles; initially highly performing teams may experience a decline in subsequent performance and vice-versa. This inductive study focuses on team-behavioral and contextual predictors of high lean team performance. Rooted in both the IMOI model and reviewing of the extant empirical lean literature, we identify changes in lean team performance and behavior. Five carefully selected lean work-floor teams were studied over three-years, using objective performance data; questionnaires (n = 109); systematic participant- and video-observation; and retrospective interviews. We reveal that for sustainable lean team performance organizational governance matters; high team performance is shown to be prolonged not only by top leader’s visible, behavioral team support, but also by steering a clear strategic course and by financially investing in lean. Moreover, it is shown how these three governance factors enable team leaders to support their teams. Top- and team-leader support is found, in turn, to positively affect team behavior. Furthermore, a behavioral pattern is identified that consists of team members’: 1) task performance monitoring; 2) information sharing; 3) backing up of co-workers; and 4) engaging in process-innovation. The paper ends with three propositions for future hypotheses testing on the illustrated cascading effect.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication75th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2015
    PublisherAcademy of Management
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event75th Academy of Management Annual Meeting, AOM 2015 - Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 7 Aug 201511 Aug 2015
    Conference number: 75


    Conference75th Academy of Management Annual Meeting, AOM 2015
    Abbreviated titleAOM


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