It is imperative for manufacturers to be profitable. Many researchers see lean as a general system to improve the profitability of manufacturing, but there is some discontent in implementing lean manufacturing, as reports claim a low success rate in implementing lean. Lean manufacturing has been extensively studied in the automobile industry, but some researchers attribute the lack of transportability into other industries as one of the reasons lean has not been implemented more successfully. Some researchers explain that creating a particular culture is needed to implement lean. Others discuss the importance of leadership as the missing link to successfully implementing lean. The current research investigated 11 semiconductor factories in the United States, correlating the leadership styles of factory leaders, factories' lean practices, and their lean cultures, using three quantitative surveys. First, the study surveyed manufacturing leaders about the perceived implementation of lean practices and used the concept of the degree of leanness. Second, the study examined employee engagement as well as continuous improvement throughout entire organizations; both concepts were used as a proxy for lean culture. Third, the study used Avolio and Bass's Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, developed in 2009, to explore the leadership type of the manufacturers' leaders. The researcher used all three quantitative surveys to test the hypothesis that transformational leadership style is the most supportive leadership style to implement lean manufacturing.
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