Discovering how innovative employees experience the process of showing IWB
Prior studies focused on antecedents and consequences of innovative work behavior (IWB). Research into how innovative employees experience the process of showing IWB lacked. The present qualitative study provides insights into how innovative employees experience the process of showing innovative work behavior (IWB). The study distinguishes three categories of innovative employees (extrarole innovative employees, professional innovative employees, and professional innovative managers). Twelve respondents were interviewed, working in very diverse fields, from professional football to swine genetics and from IT auditing to law enforcement. Results indicate innovative employees experience the process of showing IWB as a reiterative and rather chaotic process. Furthermore, all innovative employees reported showing IWB is part of their job and a large majority reported IWB is expected behavior. All innovative employees indicated IWB is necessary and indispensable for organizations. Experiences with IWB are very mixed: innovative employees reported to experience a sense of pride on the one hand, but on the other hand innovative employees also reported feelings of uncertainty and frustration. Reactions from coworkers and/or managers on shown IWB are also mixed, innovative employees receive compliments, but also face resistance from coworkers and/or managers. Overall, innovative employees’ experiences with the process of showing IWB are positive.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen