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Bridging the gap between individual innovativeness and group innovation: An investigation of the innovation process in work groups

Richard L Gilson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

In spite of increasing research attention given to individual creativity and organizational innovation, there are comparatively few studies investigating innovation in work groups. This is unfortunate given the increased use of groups to perform work in organizations. This dissertation addresses some of the inadequacies in the current literature by developing and testing a model of innovation in ongoing, task-performing work groups. The theoretical model uses an input-process-output framework common to group research. The input portion of the model is individual innovativeness. The group process portion of the model is group support for innovation . The output portion of the model is group innovation. Group support for innovation was expected to mediate the influence of individual innovativeness on group innovation. Expectancy theory is used to explain the hypothesized relationships of group support for innovation with group innovative potency, group scouting, group psychological safety, and group innovation encouragement norms. This dissertation used a cross-sectional design in a field setting. Surveys were given to group members and their supervisors in two organizations. Thirty-three work groups were used in the study. Hierarchical regression was used to test the hypotheses. Among the main findings was that group support for innovation was positively associated with group innovation quantity and quality. Group innovative potency and supervisor support were both positively associated with group support for innovation. Constructive controversy moderated the relationship between group support for innovation and group innovation quantity. Contrary to expectations, the relationship between group support for innovation and innovation was stronger when constructive controversy was low than when it was high. The findings, directions for future research, and implications for managers are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Management|Psychology, Industrial

Recommended Citation

Gilson, Richard L, "Bridging the gap between individual innovativeness and group innovation: An investigation of the innovation process in work groups" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3055271.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3055271

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