In today's kwledge-driven business environment, research and development teams face particular challenges as their purpose is to discover and/or develop new concepts, products, or processes; the pressure to perform is intense. A year-long study of 58 R&D project teams set out to identify the factors that distinguish the successful teams from the under-performers. The resulting book argues that a substantial part of a team's success is t dependent on the type of work (fundamental research vs. product development), the institutional environment (corporate vs. public), or even provision of resources-but leadership. Successful team leaders employ a transformational style that inspires and motivates team members to perform at their best; they set clear goals and tasks; they establish an environment of mutual trust and respect; and they are skilled politicians who liaise with external stakeholders-including customers, senior managers, service providers, and regulators-to gain essential support. Integrating insights from the fields of techlogy management, social psychology, and organizational behavior, Leon Mann and his colleagues present recommendations to assist organizations and management in developing strong team leaders and building invative teams.
Leon Mann is Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne, where he is the Director of the Centre for R&D Leadership. Past President of the Australian Psychological Society and of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, he has taught at Harvard University, the University of Sydney, and Flinders University. The author of more than 30 book chapters and 80 articles, he has written five books, including Decision Making and Developing Leaders in R&D.