Directive Management Style, Motivation, and Innovation Capability in New Product Development Projects
Authors: Atif AÇIKGÖZ, Ayşe GÜNSEL
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Based on the global and technological nature of business environment, hyper-competition has highlighted the need for firms, particularly those operating in high-tech industries, to rely on cross-functional new product development (NPD) teams to produce innovations in a timely manner. Therefore, the ability of NPD teams for innovation becomes a matter of concern. Innovation ability arises as a result of the mutual interactions among team members, structure, and NPD processes. In order to develop as well as to sustain such ability within NPD context, the motivation level of team members becomes very crucial. Previous studies revealed that motivation is highly dependent on the relationships and interactions between the leader and each team member and between each team member within the NPD context. However there is still a gap in the literature concerning how the leadership styles influence a team member’s motivation and how this given relationship is ultimately reflected on innovation ability.
In this study, we aimed to investigate the influence of the leadership styles of team leaders on team member’s motivation; as well as to determine the role of team member motivation on developing innovation ability. Based on the fact that this study is conducted on NPD context, we also explored the potential moderator effect of project complexity on the relationship between the team member motivation and innovation ability. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) methodology was employed on the sample size of 145 NPD team members’ data. we found that (i) the directive management style of the NPD team leaders are associated with higher levels of both internal and external motivation of team members, (ii) the higher level of external motivation of team members result with a proficiency in the ability to innovate, and (iii) the higher the project complexity the stronger the relationship between internal motivation and the innovative capability. Implications for both theory and practice were discussed.