The relation between personal features, work contextual factors and innovative work behaviour: an explorative case study at Philips Research in the Netherlands

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The purpose of our case study is to contribute to the knowledge of factors that
stimulate the innovative work behaviour (IWB) of employees. The study explores the
relationships between work contextual factors (leadership, room for autonomy and
innovative external contacts), personal features (creativity and psychological
empowerment) and showing this behaviour. We interviewed 7 managers and 27
employees at four departments of Philips Research in a explorative case study from
October 2018 until December 2019. A large majority of interviewees (24) showed
one or more stages of IWB, 6 showed all 4 stages and 3, no stages. There is a
relationship between the stages shown and the purpose of the departments. All of the
theoretically formulated work contextual factors and the creative and
psychologically empowering personality features influenced IWB. Regarding
transformational leadership, we noticed that employees with IWB need a supportive
leader who facilitates the innovation process. We observed that employees with IWB
showed an optimistic nature when they had to deal with obstacles in the innovation
process. Regarding external contacts, it was striking that in a research department,
which was a venture itself, a co-creation process with clients stimulated
entrepreneurial IWB and created a feedback loop between the development and
implementation phase of IWB.
The conceptual model developed as a result of our research can be used in daily
management practice in recognizing, facilitating and stimulating employees with
IWB. We showcase possibilities to structure and manage organizations to stimulate
the creation of new ideas and provide room for creativity by employees with IWB.
The personal features required for showing IWB can be used when recruiting
employees. When recruiting or coaching managers, it is important to look for or
stimulate supportive leadership. IWB has four phases: problem recognition, idea
recognition, idea promotion and idea realisation. Of the 27 employees with IWB, 6
showed all four stages, so it is necessary to be descriptive of the kind of innovation
required when formulating job requirements. We advise organisations to consider
the implementation of co-creation methods. We recommend finding other ways to
stimulate innovation than bonus systems because employees are more intrinsically
motivated by the impact and meaningfulness of their innovation than money.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2020
Event21st International CINet Conference: Practising Continuous Innovation in Digital Ecosystems - Online
Duration: 20 Sep 202022 Sep 2020


Conference21st International CINet Conference

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