Shared Leadership and Key Innovation Indicators in Six Sigma Projects

Shared Leadership and Key Innovation Indicators in Six Sigma Projects

Brian J. Galli (Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director, Master of Science in Engineering Management Industrial Engineering, Hofstra University, USA), Mohamad Amin Kaviani (Young Researchers and Elite Club, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran), Eleonora Bottani (Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Parma, Parma, Italy) and Teresa Murino (Department of Chemicals, Materials and Production Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 45
DOI: 10.4018/IJSDS.2017100101
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This research establishes the relationship(s) that shared leadership has with two performance metrics in Six Sigma healthcare teams: the perceived effectiveness of a team completing assigned project deliverables and satisfying customer requirements. Another primary goal is to comprehend additional factors affecting the three analyzed variables. The study found that the degree of shared leadership displayed at any Six Sigma project phase is dependent on the deliverables complexity and degree of change management complexity. Throughout this research, the role of shared leadership cannot be stressed enough. This variable yield influence and relationships with several factors, including change management and decision-making. In turn, they impact a team's environment and ability to effectively complete a project. Understanding the impact and relationship(s) that shared leadership has on quality improvement projects can provide an organization with several benefits, such as improved ability to complete projects efficiently and with quality. Finally, this study builds practical knowledge by outlining implications to professionals, managers, and teams for decision-making, change management, leadership development, Six Sigma training, and external coaching.
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1. Introduction

1.1. Research Topic Background

Recently, more research goes into understanding and implementing shared leadership. This is because the traditional “top-down” leadership approach is no longer effective. In today’s business and engineering environments, organizations strive for maximum efficacy and efficiency to remain competitive and outperform rivals. Organizations promote the growth of team environments to complete projects because it enables them to quickly adjust to industry requirements and demands. Sometimes, these organizations neglect choosing the optimal leadership model for success.

The shared leadership model is created to provide teams and organizations with benefits, including the ability to complete projects on time and make effective and logical decisions (Carson, Marrone, & Tesluk, 2007, p. 1217). Simultaneously, many organizations turn towards Six Sigma methodologies to develop innovative solutions and skills in knowledge workers and project managers. Since today’s projects are more complex and uncertain, traditional management techniques aren’t as adequate. Therefore, organizations lean towards Six Sigma to make teams more adaptive to change and flexible with dynamic requirements. Six Sigma makes it easier to distribute responsibility to teams, which helps them proactively respond to changing demands.

A review of Carson et al. (2007) indicates that little research addresses the shift to internally distributed forms of shared leadership. Some research demonstrates that scholars encourage shared leadership. For example, Gibbs (1954) was the first to argue that “leadership is probably best conceived as a group quality, as a set of functions which must be carried out by the group” (Carson et al., 2007, p. 1217). This concept is known as “distributed leadership.” Research also shows that “…when team members voluntarily and spontaneously offer their influence to others in support of shared goals, shared leadership can provide organizations with competitive advantage through increases in commitment, in the personal and organizational resources brought to bear on complex tasks, in openness to reciprocal influence from others, and in the sharing of information…” (Carson et al., 2007, p. 1218).

Koschzeck’s (2009) research has found that organizations utilizing shared influential acts perform better than those relying on a single individual. Thus, one can conclude that organizations perform more efficiently when utilizing shared leadership as opposed to single-individual leadership common in traditional teams. These thoughts and concepts challenge the conventional leadership view, however further review demonstrates that there lacks an abundance of empirical work on shared leadership.

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