This research explored the extent to which different knowledge conversion processes
require different kinds of leadership. The research was inspired by Nonaka and
Konno (1998) and proposed that knowledge conversion processes may each require
their own form of leadership because they are conducted under different bas or
contexts. Vera and Crossan's (2004) work provided a foundation for this research
through the argument that knowledge conversion processes need not only
transformational but also transactional leadership. The leadership framework based
upon transformational and transactional leadership was therefore adopted for the
Semi-structured interviews and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ),
developed by Bernard Bass and Bruce Avolio to assess leadership under the
transformational and transactional leadership framework, were used to gauge the
opinions of participants about leadership and knowledge conversion processes.
Scenarios/descriptions derived from Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) were used to focus
the mindset of the participants involved in the interviews and the questionnaire,
which was administered at the time of the interviews to support triangulation.
Findings suggested that knowledge conversion processes do not differ to the extent
that they require both transformational and transactional leadership. However,
qualitative evidence indicated that knowledge conversion processes were somewhat
different in terms of certain dimensions of transformational leadership. These differences related to the need for a strong sense of purpose, a compelling vision of
the future and long-termism in some but not all situations involving the leadership of
knowledge conversion processes.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.