Reviewing Employee Innovative Behaviour
Plymouth University, United Kingdom
The aim of this study is to conduct a comprehensive systematic review on employee innovative behaviour (EIB) literature in services. Based on the review, conceptualising EIB has been summarised. Generally, during the period 1994 2019, 211 research studies exploring EIB were reviewed. As for the results, the concept of EIB based on the reviewed studies has been clarified and distinguished. Also, antecedents of EIB have been reviewed and its methodological trends including research methods, data collection, sampling and data analysis methods, have been explored and compared. Moreover, gaps and limitations in EIB research were highlighted. Regarding practical implications, this paper provides practitioners with a general review about EIB to improve their understanding of the concept and its methodology. As well, due to the significance of EIB in services, this review gives guidance for future research regarding its methodology, antecedents and consequences.
Keywords: Employee innovative behaviour, Creativity, Leadership, Tourism, Hospitality.
Employee innovative behaviour (EIB), among various levels of innovation is regarded as a basis of organisational innovation (Janssen et al., 2004). As well, Yuan and Woodman (2010) declared that it is crucial for business success in service industries. Additionally, Oldham and Cummings (1996) stressed that innovative behaviour (IB) is essential for the effective functioning of organisations. Likewise, Åmo (2005) said that management encourages EIB because it contributes to the organisation's development. However, according to Ramamoorthy et al. (2005), EIB has a little attention, and most previous research has been conducted in manufacturing industries. Nonetheless, researchers call for more research on EIB in services, which may be distinguished than that in manufacturing firms (Sheehan, 2006). Thus, many scholars have begun investigating EIB in service context. In fact, innovative work behaviour (IWB) has recently received a significant attention due to a highly complex, competitive, and dynamic economic environment (kudien et al., 2018). Furthermore, companies admit the fact that overall organisational innovation highly relies on promoting individual employee IWB. So, the ways and possibilities of EIB in the workplace improvement are still a vital topic among practitioners and scholars (De Jong and Den Hartog, 2010). These studies shape the basis for this systematic review as it summerises EIB's research results and determines gaps and limitations for future research. Remarkably, several definitions were given to EIB. Also, Basadur (2004) announced that employee creativity has been used interchangeably with EIB in the literature. However, several differences have existed between the two constructs. Thus, in the following sections, the researcher began by distinguishing employee creativity and EIB, and then comparing and analysing different definitions of EIB in order to reach a clear understanding of EIB concept which would add value to the literature. After that, methodology, findings, gaps, limitations and conclusions were clarified for providing a clear review about EIB and guidelines for future researchers.
2 CONCEPTUALISING EMPLOYEE INNOVATIVE BEHAVIOUR
Before defining EIB, the researcher distinguished between employee creativity and EIB. De Jong and Den Hartog (2007) announced that differences between creativity and IB have been identified and discussed. Unlike creativity, IB aims at generating some kind of benefit. IB also has a richer applied component as it is predicted to result in innovative output. Interestingly, creativity is often regarded as an element of innovation (Omri, 2015). Specifically, creativity according to Fadaee and Alzahrh (2014) is stated as an individual's ability that can lead to an invention or idea by the creative person, while innovation is implementing the creative ideas resulted (Hunter et al., 2006).
Importantly, IB can be differentiated from employee creativity for two key reasons. First, creativity is concerned only with the idea generation stage, while IB involves all employee behaviour relevant to different stages of the innovation process. Second, creativity is typically related to something of absolute novelty, whereas IB is concerned with something of relative novelty. (De Spiegelaere et al., 2014a). Moreover, according to Shin and Zhou (2003), innovation is not only a concept concerned with creating new products or services, but also it is a broader view directed toward producing novel processes or practices into the organisational context which is beneficial to the consumers. As well, Khan et al. (2015) declared that inno