The Social Side of Innovative Work Behavior: Determinants of Social Interaction during Organizational Innovation Processes

Dominik Emanuel Froehlich, Gerhard Messmann

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


The need of employees to contribute to the generation, promotion, and realization of innovative ideas has proliferated extensive research about employees’ innovative work behavior. While it has been argued that innovative work behavior contains a substantial socio-political dimension, the social processes that take place during the generation, promotion, and realization of innovative ideas have received little attention. We explored the determinants for choosing interaction partners during the innovation process and hypothesized that employees’ decisions are largely influenced by their general patterns of social interactions they display during daily work. Moreover, in line with similarity attraction theory and homophily literature, we argued that employees are more likely to interact with colleagues who are similar to themselves. In this exploratory study, we investigated 1,038 dyadic relationships between employees of five complete networks using social network analysis. After analyzing each network on its own, we combined the results in a meta-analysis. The results show first evidence for our arguments. We contribute to the literature by emphasizing the social side of innovative work behavior in groups of employees. Based on this insight, attention can then be drawn to factors that play a role in the decision to engage in social interactions during processes of innovation development.
Seiten (von - bis)31-41
FachzeitschriftBusiness Creativity and the Creative Economy
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2017

ÖFOS 2012

  • 502014 Innovationsforschung
  • 503009 Erwachsenenbildung