University of Twente Student Theses


How Line Managers can shape Employees' Innovative Behavior through (In)formal Mechanisms and Behaviors

Faber, Anna Carina (2014) How Line Managers can shape Employees' Innovative Behavior through (In)formal Mechanisms and Behaviors.

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Abstract:This thesis aims to study the interaction effect of innovative climate and line manager behavior on employees’ innovative behavior, focusing on a set of informal mechanisms and behaviors and providing an informative and explanatory overview on their interaction. After a thorough review of the literature, four informal mechanisms are found and reviewed. Line managers can create and maintain an innovative climate and hence shape employees’ innovative behavior by empowering them with a sense of ownership, enabling social interactions and networks, creating a feeling of participative safety and support for innovation. Moreover, recognition, encouragement, motivation, trust and fairness are line manager behaviors which can have a direct effect on employees’ innovative behavior, but will have a stronger influence when combined with the aforementioned mechanisms. A matrix showing the interactions between the mechanisms and behaviors is provided and can be used as a guideline by line managers when trying to shape the innovative behavior of employees. This literature review emphasizes the (sometimes underestimated) value of the line manager’s function, which is - next to mere supervision - also the potential to contribute to an organization’s strategic direction such as innovation. The line manager can create and maintain an innovative climate through formal and informal mechanisms in which employees are willing to innovate. It is argued that employees’ innovative behavior can be increased even more by combining these with specific line manager behaviors. Further research should focus on empirically testing the proposed interactions, in order to urge organizations to increase their investment into the development of their line managers if they want to shape employees’ innovative behavior.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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