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Title: Lean team features as a key to team learning - Een onderzoek naar de invloed van Lean teameigenschappen op teamleren en de moderatie van psychologische veiligheid op deze relatie.
Authors: Rees, Steffan van
Issue Date: 8-Feb-2018
Publisher: Open Universiteit Nederland
Abstract: Lean is a method for process improvement and is very popular within enterprises. This method focuses on identifying and correcting errors in an organisation. However, this method has remained underexposed in science. De Koning (2007) changed this and acted towards the scientific ground of Lean. He summarizes the method with a scientific validation of Lean. According to de Koning (2007) Lean is a possible method, (with roots in) rooted in scientific theories from diverse disciplines such as the philosophy of science, organization theory and project management. It is not only a hype with a limited shelf life, as is sometimes suggested. Nevertheless, Lean (by itself) does not lead to success in all organizations. (As for reasons), it is sought in the wrong combination of Lean methods (Shah & Ward, 2003), it is people who have to apply these methods effectively. Without good cooperation between teams in the workplace and their managers, in whatever organizational context, it remains difficult to realize further process improvement. Despite this knowledge, we know too little about the dynamics of effective Lean teams (van Dun, 2016). The research refers to an organization that has been working with Lean since 2012 and is part of the Ministry of Defense. The objective of this master thesis concerns the question of insight into Lean team properties, presence of psychological safety and the way of team learning within 24 teams. The central question is therefore: 'What is the influence of Lean team properties on team learning and to what extent can these team characteristics facilitate psychological safety and is this a moderating factor in team learning?' This research investigates the influence of Lean team properties on team learning and investigates to what extent these team characteristics can facilitate psychological safety and whether there is moderation on this relationship. Facilitating team learning is described by Dun (2016) as a characteristic of a Lean team. This in conjunction with Edmondson (1999), which indicates that psychological safety is a critical factor in this and does not necessarily lead to better team performance. This only applies if this is combined with a focus of the group members on a challenging, shared team goal. Research has shown that psychological safety is an important predictor of learning behavior (Edmondson, 1999, Tjosvold et al., 1999) and achievements (Baer & Frese, 2003). When a team is perceived as safe by the team members, the team (will learn) learns more. This offers room for the constructive conflict and thus for an important process of team learning. Psychological safety is seen as the most important condition for team learning by Edmondson (1999) and Duhigg (2016). A core value of a Lean organization is that a Lean team facilitates team learning by creating a safe environment where mistakes are accepted and are seen as learning moments (van Dun & Wilderom, 2016). It is for this reason that it makes sense to relate the influence of Lean team properties to the psychological safety within these teams. Edmondson and Lei (2014) therefore indicate that it is useful to consider psychological safety as a moderating factor, the relationship between a motivating variable and team learning. This is done with this research. The reason for using Lean team properties is that Van Dun (2016) on one hand describes the facilitation of team learning as a characteristic of Lean teams. And on the other hand because Edmondson (1999) indicates that psychological safety does not necessarily lead to better team performance. This only applies if this is combined with a focus of the group members on a challenging, shared team goal. This offers the Lean philosophy through the methodical and concrete methodology to realize a team goal, collectively (Womack & Jones, 1990). It is precisely for this reason that it is both scientifically and practically relevant to investigate the influence of Lean team properties For this research, quantitative research was used in 24 teams between. The teams consisted of 8 to 15 members per team. 54 questions were asked to the members of the teams to measure the presence of Lean team properties. 18 questions were asked to measure the degree of team learning and 5 questions to measure the degree of psychological safety. First of all, an analysis was made of the descriptive properties, per construct at the organizational level to test the presence of these constructs. We also looked at the reliability coefficients per construct. Subsequently, in-depth analysis was performed at team level. In order to test the hypotheses, statistical analyses were performed to be able to measure the relationships. Regression analyses have been performed on these relationships. For Lean team properties, these regression analyzes were also performed on the underlying constructs. The influence of Lean team properties has been answered by means of the first sub-question. It turned out that team learning is explained for 58% by Lean team properties as a scale. Especially the underlying scales: giving support, team bonding, involvement and sharing information appear to have significant influence. It has also been shown by answering the third hypothesis and answering the third sub-question that Lean team properties have a high degree of coherence (73%) with psychological safety. Especially the underlying scales: sharing information, monitoring performance, team bonding, giving support and managing conflicts appear to have significant influence. To answer the question of whether psychological safety has a moderating effect on the relationship, it becomes clear that this is not the case. All possible combinations of moderators are created from Lean team properties and psychological safety. It has been found that these moderators are also not significant. It can be concluded that especially the scales: sharing information, team bonding and support both have a significant A possible follow-up study concerns, for example, the comparison of the behavior of teams and their managers in a Lean setting with those in comparable non-Lean work environments. Or investigating differences in behavior between employees within effective and less effective Lean teams. To create more in-depth insights, it is important to collect field data with more than just a questionnaire. From an integral point of view, the practical recommendation in connection with this research would be to link teams and team objectives to the organization’s process structure in order to stimulate team bonding. In addition, sufficient (steering) information should be available for the employees working within this process in order to provide mutual support. The support of each other will have to be coordinated in an operational way by enabling teams to engage in a structured dialogue with each other about operational activities, frustrations they have, requests for help, proposals for improvement, but above all celebrating successes. This with the aim of optimally facilitating the aspects that have a significant influence on team learning.
Appears in Collections:MSc Management Science

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