Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Creative Self-Efficacy Mediates the Relationship between Knowledge Sharing and Employee Innovation

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Creative Self-Efficacy Mediates the Relationship between Knowledge Sharing and Employee Innovation

Article excerpt

Innovation is essential for enterprises to survive and develop amid the uncertainty and competitiveness of knowledge-based economies (Yuan & Woodman, 2010), and employees are the main means for implementing the behaviors that sustain organizational innovation (Amabile, Conti, Coon, Lazenby, & Herron, 1996; Zhang & Bartol, 2010). Employee innovation is a complex combination of generating, promoting, and realizing ideas (Scott & Bruce, 1994), involving identifying problems, seeking support for implementing solutions to identified problems, and making products or providing services.

In resource-based theories it is asserted that organizations maintain their competitive advantage by acquiring valuable strategic resources that are difficult to replicate. Knowledge sources are fundamental building blocks in facilitating employee innovation in organizations. Employees' education and experience are such organizational resources for innovation (van den Hooff& de Ridder, 2004); however, employees' knowledge is difficult to transform, making knowledge sharing crucial in organizations. Knowledge sharing is a process through which employees exchange knowledge and experiences to derive new ideas and create knowledge (Van Wijk, Jansen, & Lyles, 2008; Wang & Noe, 2010). This type of sharing establishes favorable conditions for employee innovation by enhancing the employees' capacity to come up with creative ideas.

Bandura (1977) originally defined self-efficacy as personal confidence in completing a goal. Creative self-efficacy is a personal characteristic that specifically concerns the ability to innovate, and refers to an internal, sustaining force that propels individuals to persevere to produce innovative outcomes. It supports innovation because having creative self-efficacy motivates employees to persevere by using appropriate coping strategies in challenging situations (Choi, 2004). Creative self-efficacy reflects the individual's confidence in his or her ability to perform a specific task in the innovation process. Further, knowledge shapes self-efficacy assessment and, therefore, innovation (Amabile, 1983; Gist & Mitchell, 1992; Tierney & Farmer, 2002).

Alongside their personal characteristics, employees' understanding of the work environment is an important factor affecting innovation. Job satisfaction has been the topic of a considerable body of scientific research, but there is still no general agreement regarding what it actually is. Hoppock (1935) defined job satisfaction as employees' feelings about their jobs, which is a combination of psychological and environmental circumstances. Spector (1997) defined job satisfaction as how individuals feel about their job and its various aspects. In this study, we define job satisfaction as people's evaluation of their work content, namely the degree to which they like or dislike their job, and the extent to which expectations match the rewards. Receiving more rewards than anticipated in one's job can increase satisfaction with it. Generally, how people feel about their job is considered to be linked to their work behaviors and job performance, including productivity and self-motivation, with high job satisfaction resulting in increased dedication toward achieving organizational goals (Judge & Bono, 2001). Employee innovation is a kind of performance that may be affected by job satisfaction, but there has been little research conducted in which this premise has been explored.

Research into the antecedent variables of employee innovation, such as the studies conducted by Cohendet and Simon (2007) and Van Wijk et al. (2008), has mainly been focused on individual (e.g., demographic variables, creative personality) and environmental (e.g., organizational innovation atmosphere, job control, colleague trust) variables. Although knowledge is crucial for proposing and adapting a novel idea and knowledge sharing is a method for knowledge acquisition, there have been few studies on the effect of knowledge sharing on employee innovation (Lu & Liang, 2012). …

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