Lean Innovation Training and Transformational Leadership for Employee Creative Role Identity and Innovative Work Behavior in a Public Service Organization

Amy B.C. Tan*, Desirée H. van Dun, Celeste P.M. Wilderom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose: With the growing need for employees to be innovative, public-sector organizations are investing in employee training. This study aims to examine the effects of a combined Lean Six Sigma and innovation training, using action learning, on public-sector employees’ creative role identity and innovative work behavior. Design/methodology/approach: The authors studied a public service agency in Singapore in which a five-day Lean Innovation Training was implemented, using a combination of Lean Six Sigma and Creative Problem-Solving tools, with a simulation on day one and subsequent team-based project coaching, spread over six months. The authors administered pre- and postintervention surveys among all the employees, and initiated group interviews and observations before, during and after the intervention. Findings: Creative role identity and innovative work behavior had significantly improved six months after the intervention, enabled through senior management’s transformational leadership. The training induced managers to role-model innovative work behaviors while cocreating, with their employees, a renewal of their agency’s core processes. The three completed improvement projects contributed to an innovative work culture and reduced service turnaround time. Originality/value: Starting with a role-playing simulation on the first day, during which leaders and followers swapped roles, the action-learning type training taught all the organizational members to use various Lean Six Sigma and Creative Problem-Solving tools. This nimble Lean Innovation Training, and subsequent team-based project coaching, exemplifies how advancing the staff’s creative role identity can have a positive impact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Lean Six Sigma
Volume15
Issue number8
Early online date23 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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