Leadership for co-worker commitment a TQM approach

University dissertation from LuleƄ : LuleƄ tekniska universitet

Abstract: A trend in modern working life is related to adjustments to the rapidly changing requirements of the market. The increased pace of and demands for flexibility from globalization cause changes of the organizational conditions. To meet the demands of modern working life, independent, versatile and committed co-workers in a flat, flexible and empowered organization are needed. The new demands in modern working life also call for an adjusted leadership with more focus on human behavioural aspects. This leads to a need for reduced managerial control and empowered, autonomous co-workers. This in turn might give not only increased responsibility, but also a higher workload, pressure and stress for the co-workers. The increased pressure may lead to an unhealthy working environment and increased costs con-nected to sickness absence. The main purpose of this thesis is to contribute to a leadership that is better adapted to the new modern working life and supports co-worker commitment and sustainable health. The result of this thesis may be described in three parts. The first part, based on literature study, suggests a model, based on internal partnership, which is based on five factors; core values, personal motives, personal maturity, trust & equity, and communication in dialogue. The second part is based on a multiple case study of two organizations, which have been successful in establishing a good working environment based on co-worker commitment and have at the same time obtained sustainable health. The organizations are studied with the aim of identifying methodologies possible to adopt by other organizations. The obtained methodologies are structured and analysed using the partnership model from the first part. The third part is based on a literature study and discusses three identified embedded contradictions in the TQM concept that leaders may have to navigate and balance between in a modern working life. These contradictions are related to collectivism versus individualism, standardization versus innovative learning, and manipulation versus empowerment

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