One of the most important factors for the success of an organization is the quality of its managers. However, this is a rather general statement, because there are many different types of managers with different work styles. This begs the question: are all types of managers, regardless of their work styles, important to organizational success or only managers with specific work styles? This study aims to investigate the answer to this question by examining the relationship between two specific elements of managers’ work styles – the role a manager plays in the work team and the preferred manner of change management a manager applies – and their effect on the level of performance of their organization, as measured by the high-performance organization (HPO) framework.
- Design/methodology/approach – This study was part of a larger study into the drivers of success of franchise supermarkets in The Netherlands. A questionnaire was constructed, in which, among others, the following were explored: the level of performance (according to the HPO Framework), the preferred team role of the franchiser (using the Belbin team role model) and the change management approach of the franchiser (using De Caluwe and Vermaak’s color theory). The questionnaire was sent to 400 Dutch supermarket franchisers, and the data received were subject to statistical analysis.
- Findings – The study results clearly indicated that certain types of managers are important to organizational success in the supermarket sector. There are specific types of managers – in the sense that these managers have specific roles they play and specific change styles they apply – that seem to be more effective in creating and maintaining an HPO. These roles, as described by Belbin, are chairman and plant; the change style is De Caluwe and Vermaak’s color red.
- Research limitations/implications – The study results add to the literature on high performance and HPOs, because team roles and color change styles have not been related to the factors for high performance to date.
- Originality/value – Although the fact that certain types of managers, in certain contexts, are more effective than others is not a new finding, this is the first time specific team roles and a specific change style have been found that would enable managers to create and maintain an HPO.
- Keywords Manager styles, Team roles, Change styles, High-performance organizations, HPO