Academic journal article Management Revue

Perceptions of HRM and Their Effect on Dimensions of Innovative Work Behaviour: Evidence from a Manufacturing Firm **

Academic journal article Management Revue

Perceptions of HRM and Their Effect on Dimensions of Innovative Work Behaviour: Evidence from a Manufacturing Firm **

Article excerpt

Introduction

For several decades, individual innovative performance has been considered as one of the most important organizational drivers in dealing with rapid changes, such as globalization, and emerging new technologies. Research has shown that organizational innovation performance is enhanced by individual innovative performance, referred to from the behavioural perspective as innovative work behaviour (IWB) (e.g. De Jong & Den Hartog, 2007; Hoyrup, 2010; Janssen, 2000; Scott & Bruce, 1994). The existing literature has accumulated rich conceptual and empirical knowledge on a variety of factors influencing IWB, including the organizational climate (e.g. Scott & Bruce, 1994), job design (e.g. Farr, 1990), transformational leadership (e.g. Basu & Green, 1997), commitment (e.g. Thompson & Heron, 2006), trust (e.g. Carmeli & Spreitzer, 2009), problem-solving style (e.g. Scott & Bruce, 1994), and role expectations (e.g. Shalley & Gilson, 2004). Recently, scholars have started largely conceptual discussions about stimulating the innovation potential of "ordinary" workers and their participation in innovation, so-called employee-driven innovation (Hoyrup, 2010; Resting & Ulhoi, 2010), and claimed that, if properly supported, even "routine" workers can show strongly innovative behaviour (Evans & Waite, 2010) and that the innovative work behaviour can be made "visible, recognized, and exploited to the benefit of both the firm and its employees" (Resting & Ulhoi, 2010, p. 66). This is particularly apparent in manufacturing firms, in which the need for innovation is high and production workers have the skills and knowledge required to contribute directly and strongly to organizational innovation performance (Hoyrup, 2010; Laursen & Foss, 2003). Several discrete managerial practices have been considered as drivers of innovative behaviour by employees, including rewards, decision structures, and time and resource support (Resting & Ulhoi, 2010).

Surprisingly, few attempts have been made to evaluate empirical!}' the impact of managerial support practices on IWB. Empirical research is scarce, and what is available does not reach beyond supporting the value of human resource management in general. Human resource (HR) practices have been found to play an important role in general at the organizational level enhancing organizational innovation performance (e.g. Beugelsdijk, 2008; Shipton, West, Dawson, Birdi, & Patterson., 2006; De Leede & Looise, 2005; Jiménez-Jiménez & Sanz-Valle, 2005), and at the individual level in stimulating organizational innovation by enhancing the creativity of individual employees (e.g. Dul, Ceylan, & Jaspers, 2011; Mumford, 2000). For example, Jiang, Wang, and Zhao (2012) found that several HR practices affect employees' creativity, such as hiring, selection, and rewards. However, the studies did not empirically test the particular effect of specific HR practices and generally maintained a conceptual focus (e.g. Galbraith, 1982; Gupta & Singhal, 1993; Ranter, 1988; Mumford, 2000; Shalley & Gilson, 2004).

At this point, we should clarify this paper's position. We depart from the idea that the formulation and interpretation of organizational issues (here - innovation performance issues) is based on people's perceptions of organizational processes (here - human resources management practices) (Hodgkinson, 1997). Organizational members' perceptions of HR practices influence their actions and attitudes in response to changes in the HRM processes. Further, social cognitive research has shown that people act on the basis of their perceptions and interpretations, and in doing so they enact particular social realities through giving them meaning (Bartunek & Moch, 1994; Fyske & Taylor, 1991; Goodhew, Cammock, & Hamilton, 2005; Weick, Sutcliffe & Obstfeld, 2005). Based on the way in which people perceptually filter external information, their attitudinal and behavioural responses to that information may differ, and the natural information processing mechanisms of individuals influence the way in which they perceive situations. …

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