Beyond the lean manager. Insights on how to develop corporate lean leadership
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionTotal Quality Management and Business Excellence. 2022. 10.1080/14783363.2021.2022468
Although leadership is consistently found to be the main success factor for lean transformations, our knowledge about how to develop the necessary leadership competences at the level of the individual and the organisation remains limited. Based on an action-research study of lean leadership development in a Norwegian high-tech manufacturer, this article proposes an integrated model for how to develop corporate lean leadership. The model combines earlier research on ‘hard’ versus ‘soft’ leadership competencies and individual versus collective competency development in a two-dimensional framework, which highlights four areas of intervention. We argue that conventional lean leadership training should be supplemented by insights and practices from human resource management and organisational development. Hence, lean professionals (coaches and trainers) should reach out to HR-professionals often organised in different functional departments. The model might guide future practical interventions. We encourage further research to investigate the model with respect to its wider applicability.