• Identifying Innovative Work Behaviors: An Inquiry Using Critical Incident Technique

      Peffers, Samuel N.
      Innovation is a driving force in economic activity and often considered essential for organizational health and growth; therefore, a better understanding of the employee behaviors that supervisors most frequently associate with employee innovativeness, innovative work behaviors, has the potential to be very beneficial. Although much has been written about it, most previous work has focused on behavior categories or dimensions without seeking to observe or understand how innovative work behavior is manifested in the workplace. Critical incident technique is a well-established and extensively applied method of inquiry for determining effective work role behaviors, but it has not previously been applied well to the study of innovative work behavior. This study applied critical incident technique to collect first hand behavior observations in the places where innovative work behavior occurs. A better understanding of the discrete behaviors associated with workplace innovation can assist Human Resources Development practitioners and educators in administering innovation focused training and development initiatives. The research presented in this dissertation indicates that what supervisors within organizations with a stated innovation orientation perceive as effective innovative work behavior can be summarized as four primary behaviors: generating ideas, recognizing problems or opportunities, acquiring ideas from sources external to the employee’s immediate work organization, and promoting ideas to others within the work organization.