Edited by Tyrone S. Pitsis, Ace Simpson and Erlend Dehlin
Chapter 6: Management innovation in action: the case of self- managing teams
The pursuit of management innovation is influenced by both internal and external change agents as new practices, processes or structures will be shaped by both employees of the innovating organization and third parties such as consultants and academics (Birkinshaw et al., 2008). Following Birkinshaw et al. we propose that internal change agents play a particularly relevant role as they are the individuals championing the introduction of management innovation in order to make organizations more efficient. This also espouses the rational view of management innovation, and in particular the role of human agency, as we study the deliberate actions of change agents within the organization. In understanding the role of internal change agents we consider the case of self-managing teams at Royal DSM, a Dutch life sciences and material sciences company, which has been working with self-managing teams in its Anti-Infectives plant for ten years. In coping with the cost advantages that companies can achieve in Asian production sites and remain competitive, many firms have moved production to Asia and away from Europe and North America. Royal DSM, however, continues to produce in Europe while remaining competitive.
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