The Moderating Effect of Organizational Climate for Innovation on the relationship among Personality Trait, Affect and Individual Innovative Behavior

일반대학원 경영학과
The Graduate School, Ajou University
Publication Year
Personality Trait
Alternative Abstract
Since world is changing rapidly, firms cannot deliver the same services and products in the same way for long term strategy. To survive and succeed, firms need innovations. To remain competitive, firms must develop and introduce new services and products (Amabile, 1997; Cummings & Oldham, 1997). Innovation can be a vital weapon, which could generate utilizing ideas, tools, and opportunities to create new products and services, or could enhance products and services. Increased organizational innovation has been recognized as a key factor to firms of improving their competitiveness, long-term survival and success (Mathisen & Einarsen, 2004; Andriopoulos & Lewis 2009; Wang, 2013) Innovation, which exactly occurs without considering their success or failure in organization is related to a wide range of external and internal factors. Innovation strength of employees is the foundation of organizational innovation. Understanding what factors influence individuals’ innovative behavior could play a prominent role in firms’ development. Over an extended period, Chinese enterprises held the position of low-end products manufacturing in global value distribution system. In both domestic and international markets, labor export had been hardly improved company competitiveness, or even state’s (Liu & Zhang, 2007; Sun, 2010). Particularly, after China becomes a member of WTO, an increasing number of foreign investment has been entering China, providing opportunities of development of Chinese markets while giving rise to the crisis to Chinese firms. Chinese enterprises have to lean upon the innovation to survive from such stormy competition (Xue, 1997; Zhou et al., 2005). Considering a general view of the relationship of national economy system and innovation system, Chinese economists did not play a prominent role in the revolution of Chinese innovation system. When it comes to the phenomena that the innovation ability of Chinese enterprises fall behind their competitors, the limitation of employees' innovative ability has become one of main restraining factors (Guo, 2012). It is clear that both individual’s characteristics and the organizational surroundings influence behaviors (Mathisen & Einarsen, 2004; Patterson, PeterWarr, & West, 2004). Innovative behavior at work seems to be promoted by a combination of both personal qualities and working environment factors (Mathisen & Einarsen, 2004). Managing creativity not only requires to recognize employees who have the capability of creativity but also to understand how the organizational environment influences the creativity of individuals with different dispositions (Hirst, Knippenberg, & Zhou, 2009). Bateman & Crant (1993) said, that “person, environment, and behavior continuously influence one another” (P.104). Most organizations are not short of innovative employees, but they lack climates of supporting and encouraging innovative behaviors. Like China, in order to motivate employee’s innovative behavior, most firms provide lots of funds, facilities, and estates. They introduce many innovators from overseas as well. Both of these behaviors do not help firms become innovative. Not because they lack enough funds, talented people, they do not provide conductive work environment, while encouraging risky climates to employees (Gu & Peng, 2010). Hence, for Chinese firms, it is not the most important thing to understand how to find creative employees. Like what Cummings & Oldham (1997) said “only by fostering the right people in the right place can creativity in organizations by maximized” (P.22). Personality as an internal personal factor can influence personal attitudes and behaviors. Feist (1998) said that “consistent creative behavior could serve as a prototype for the study of personality” (P.290). Indeed, the Five-Factor Model of personality has had a major impact on theorizes and researches in organizational behavior, and employee innovative behavior in organizations (McCrae & Costa, 1987; George & Zhou, 2001). Some authors suggested that high creative person should be hostile, aggressive, open, and be usually attracted by complex things, and usually should not get on well with others (Feist, 1994; Mackinnon, 1965). In this thesis, I will focus on three factors in the Five-Factor Model that may be the most closely linked to employees’ innovative behavior (Galbraith, 1982; McCrae, 1987). Studies have found that the role of mood at work has grown and is flourishing. A growing number of studies suggest that positive affect would influence cognitive processes and peoples’ behaviors (George & Zhou, 2007). Some researchers suggested that mood stands out as one of the widely studied and less disputed predictors of creativity (Isen & Daubman, 1984; Leonard et al., 1993; Kaufmann & Vosburg, 1997). Isen, Daubman, & Nowicki (1987) argued that positive affect brings divergent materials into mind. In addition, positive affect facilitates flexibility, problem solving, and decision making (Isen, Daubman & Nowicki., 1987; Isen, Niedenthal, & Cantor, 1992; Erez & Isen, 2002). However, how negative affect influences individual behavior is open to be debated. George and Zhou (2007) suggested that positive and negative interactions influence divergent thinking and problem thinking. Some researchers suggested that negative affect may promote problem identification, divergent thinking and new idea development (Kaufmann & Vosburg, 1997; Vosburg, 1998a, 1998b). Unlike stable and uneasily changeable personality, those who are easily influenced by environmental psychological states like motivation and affect are more important to influence individual innovative behavior (Zhu & Long, 2009). But less previous studies focus on how individuals’ daily work affect might relate to their innovative behavior on the job (Amabile et al., 2005; Ding & Li, 2012). For managers who wish to foster innovation within their organization cannot only pay attention to what kind of person they hire, how person’s affect can influence their behavior, but also need pay attention to how organizational environment such as organizational culture and climate are related to individual innovation (Amabile et al., 1996; Tesluk, Farr, & Klein, 1997). “Climate was conceived as the key functional link between the person and the environment ” (Kozlowski & Doherty, 1989: P. 546). Research on work climate is important because it covers nearly every aspect of organizational life (Kuenzi & Schminke, 2009). Efforts on management should be related to the extent that employees are contact to, and practices and norms that encourage the expression of ideas and stimulate flexibility and learning. Climate mentioned above is usually referred as a circumstance for innovation (Charbonnier, El Akremi, & Vandenberghe, 2010). Since 1990s, theories and research about organizational climate for innovation had been becoming more and more valuable (Wang & Zhu, 2006). There exist closely relationship among exploitation of organization members’ potential of creativity, organizational innovative performance and attractive work environment. Organization should understand the working conditions that influence individual innovative behavior (Isaksen, Lauer, & Ekvall, 1999). Beside important materials and human resources, the combination of a challenging and supportive environment has been found specifically to sustain a high level of creativity in individuals and teams (Mathisen & Einarsen, 2004). It is clear that both an individual’s characteristics and one’s organizational surroundings influence one’s behaviors (Mathisen & Einarsen, 2004; Patterson, PeterWarr & West, 2004). 2. Purpose of the Study It is not enough for firms to hire innovative people or to emphasize creating good climate for innovation and ignore individual characters, doing both should lead to higher innovation level (Bharadwaj & Menon, 2000). Current studies argue that it is necessary to consider both interactions between personal and contextual characteristics to fully understand individual innovative behavior. Instead, the purpose of this study is to achieve three basic objectives. At first, unlike previous studies which concentrated on individual innovative behavior and climate for innovation separately, this study shifted the focus on testing the indirect effect of climate for innovation which may influence individual innovative behavior. Secondly, expect openness to experience, previous studies rarely focused on other factors of personality trait effect which influences innovative behavior. This paper considers openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness. At the end, the empirical evidence proves that positive affect and negative affect influence individual creativity reciprocal. Also, positive affectivity can be related to personality trait extraversion and negative affectivity can be related to personality trait neuroticism (Brief & Weiss, 2002). This paper shows that positive affect and negative affect may influence innovative behavior, respectively. In summary, the purpose of this study is to study the effects of employee’s affect and personality on employee innovative behavior, and the moderating role of organization climate for innovation.

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