Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Marketing and Management | Marketing | 2010
Thesis number: 12272
Balancing between freedom and control - Leadership roles of a new product development project leader at different phases of innovation process
|Title:||Balancing between freedom and control - Leadership roles of a new product development project leader at different phases of innovation process|
|Year:||2010 Language: eng|
|Department:||Department of Marketing and Management|
|Index terms:||markkinointi; marketing; johtaminen; management; innovaatiot; innovations; tuotekehitys; product development; uudet tuotteet; new products|
» hse_ethesis_12272.pdf size:3 MB (2127717)
|Key terms:||innovation; innovation process; leadership; leadership function; leadership role|
Research Objectives In the success of innovation, leadership plays an important role. Project leader is usually responsible in managing the innovation process as well as the people in the team. The innovation process consists of phases that are very different by nature and hence, leadership practices applicable for the development phase may not be applicable for the front end phase. Thus, leaders of an innovative team need to balance between different kinds of roles and functions during the innovation process. Although the importance of leadership to innovation success has been discussed, the importance of different leadership functions and roles of a project leader at certain phases of innovation process have received only little attention. The aim of this study is to recognize and describe the leadership functions and roles of a project leader during the front end and development phase.
Methodology This study was conducted as a qualitative research and data was gathered through semi-structured interviews. A total of seven interviews were conducted for the study. Interviews consisted of upper management and project leaders of three Finnish companies. The companies were a manufacturer of office furniture, a manufacturer of elevators and escalators, and a manufacturer of heavy duty cargo transportation platforms. The study analysis was done by thematic analysis.
Research Results The results of the study support the existing discussion of the importance of a project leader in the context of new product development. Furthermore, the results support earlier studies about the necessity of conducting various leadership functions and leadership roles along the innovation process. According to the findings of the study, team builder leadership role is the most important role of the project leader during the front end of innovation. In the development phase, on the other hand, in addition to the team builder role, also communicator and planner leadership roles were seen as essential for the success of the project.
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