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Leading the creation of a data-driven culture for employee thriving

Wolbert, J.R. (2022) Leading the creation of a data-driven culture for employee thriving.

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Abstract:Employee thriving and a data-driven culture are getting more attention from both academics and the practical field. Although both concepts are often studied individually, there is as of yet no framework with regard to the potential relationship of a data-driven culture in relation to employee thriving. In the current tight labor market, with trends like high employee turnover and burnouts, it is essential to have thriving employees. Next to that, a growing number of companies want to become data-driven although they are not aware of the effect on their employees. This study will attempt to develop a framework around the relationship of a datadriven culture on employee thriving and the role of leadership in relation to these concepts. In order to create a framework with regard to the relationship between these concepts, a total of 15 semi-structured interviews of approximately 45 minutes were held in four organizations that find themselves in the transition towards a data-driven culture. The sample of interviewees included both managers who are more at the forefront of the change toward a data-driven culture and employees who are more ‘affected’ by the change toward a data-driven culture. The existing literature about enablers of employee thriving, leadership styles that promote employee thriving and leadership styles that are helpful for the creation of a data-driven culture were studied. Existing literature was compared with insights that came forward throughout the interviews, in this way we were able to provide a clear picture on how abovementioned concepts are related and could harm and/or reinforce each other. The results showed that a data-driven culture can contribute to employee thriving. However, issues and opportunities that arise due to the creation of a data-driven culture should be taken into account. In this sample, a distinction was made between non-tech-based organizations and tech-based organizations. An instrumental leadership style and a transformational leadership style are leadership styles that are expected to have a positive effect on employee thriving in the context of the creation of a data-driven culture. More autonomy, a faster learning curve and recognition from supervisors are factors enabled by a data-driven culture that could enhance employee thriving. The emergence of a more professional environment due to a data-driven culture could be harmful for employee thriving, because it could harm the level of innovativeness, the freedom to try new ideas, and less interpersonal contact. The self-determination theory is used to explain why factors enabled by data-driven culture may influence employee thriving. This paper adds to the literature by making suggestions for future research on the aforementioned concepts.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Infotopics, Oldenzaal, Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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