Practicing Social Innovation: Enactment of the Employee–Organization Relationship by Employees

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Purpose: The purpose of this conceptual study is to explain the way in which employees influence social innovation in the employee–organization relationship, such as job crafting, i-deals, New World of Work, talent management, or high performance work practices.

Methodology/Approach: This study applies a practice perspective in order to explain how employees affect their employee–organization relationship and thus influence the outcomes of social innovation.

Implications: The theoretical exploration suggest that employees can engage in the enactment of the employee–organization relationship in three ways: enacting employment relationships, enacting employment practices, and enacting employment practices’ outcomes. In doing so, they can draw on interpretive schemes, resources, and norms for realizing the benefits of social innovation for themselves and/or their employer.

Originality/Value: Although organizations have started social innovation initiatives that allow employees to actively shape the employee–organization relationship, existing studies still treat employees as inactive recipients in the relationship with their employer. As a result, it remains unclear how social innovation in employee–organization relationships is implemented in practice and thus, how social innovation provides benefits to the employee and the organization. The originality of this study is its focus on how employees, as (pro-)active constituents, shape the employee–organization relationship, for finding better explanations of the outcomes of social innovation initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Resource Management, Social Innovation and Technology
EditorsTanya Bondarouk, Miguel R. Olivas-Lujan
Place of PublicationBingley
Number of pages250
ISBN (Print)978-1-78441-130-5
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameAdvanced Series in Management
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited


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