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High Tech With a Human Touch: Leaders’ and Employees’ Emotional Intelligence For Employees’ Support For Radical Technical Innovation Projects: A Mixed-Method, Multi-Level Exploratory Study

Duuren, BSc M. van (2019) High Tech With a Human Touch: Leaders’ and Employees’ Emotional Intelligence For Employees’ Support For Radical Technical Innovation Projects: A Mixed-Method, Multi-Level Exploratory Study.

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Abstract:Purpose: the aim of this explorative study is to examine how radical technical innovations, such as Industry 4.0 change projects, can be implemented more successfully in the Netherlands. We propose that the effects of leaders’ and employees’ emotional intelligence (EI) positively contributes towards employee support for adoption of radical technical innovations. We assume that greater employee support increases the probability to adopt radical technical innovations such as I4.0 projects. Design/methodology/approach: Two leading technical industrial companies in the process of I4.0 innovation projects were analysed. A mixed-method approach was employed: a multi-level, exploratory field study to develop in-depth insights into I4.0 adoption and employee support. Multiple surveys (n = 20), and semi-structured interviews were performed with leaders at two hierarchical levels (n = 6) and work-floor level employees (n = 8). The quantitative results were analysed through correlation, independent sample T-tests, and regression analyses. Subsequently the findings from the semi-structured interviews and the multilevel quantitative analysis were triangulated to answer the research question. Findings/practical recommendations: The results show that when employees, team leaders, and high-level leaders score high on EI, and when management and organisational support is high, this relates to a high radical technical innovation support among employees. Practical recommendations include a measurement of employees’ EI in view of radical technical innovations; training and education on EI relates to a higher adoption for radical technical innovations. Limitations: Since this is an explorative study, a small sample size was expected and found. The EI topic had proven resistance among employees and the majority of Dutch contacted organisations appeared not fully I4.0 ready and were therefore not applicable for this study Originality/value: The main contribution of this research is to connect and broaden the understanding how leaders’ and employee’s emotional intelligence contribute to employee’s support of Industry 4.0/ radical technical innovation projects. The relation between leaders and employee’s emotional intelligence has been addressed before and, similarly, Industry 4.0 is a current wide expanded, however not fully understood topic in literature and practice. This study explores an entire new research topic, relationships, and undiscovered territory. Keywords: Industry 4.0, Smart Industry, Technology Support, Multilevel Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Employee Resistance to Change.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/78862
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