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Workplace innovation: Employee characteristics and organizational context

Alena Nefedova, M. V. Chernysheva (), L. S. Kuzina () and I. B. Yudin ()

Voprosy Ekonomiki, 2022, issue 9

Abstract: For a long time, innovation studies mainly focused on the macrolevel, i.e. country- or industry-level analysis of the innovation process. Nevertheless, throughout the last decade, there has been a methodological bias towards the study of the innovation process at the micro- or grassroots-level, i.e. at the level of social groups and employees who initiate and implement innovations within their organizations. This study is conducted in the grassroots-level framework. The focus is made both on the individual-level characteristics of employees who suggest innovative ideas, and on the organization-level factors that can affect employees’ involvement in the innovation process. Unlike similar studies, current research is focused not on high-skilled employees who are responsible for the innovation generation and implementation by their job duties, but rather on ordinary employees who voluntarily propose new ideas (“volunteer innovators”). Data from the Monitoring of Innovative Behavior of the Population by the Higher School of Economics for 2018 is used for the analysis. The results confirm low innovative activity of Russian enterprises as only 7% of the 4821 surveyed Russian employees aged from 18 to 65 offered innovative ideas. However, more than half of them (4%) were “volunteer innovators”. By using a binary logistic regression, a set of individual-level characteristics of “volunteer innovators” and organization-level factors that can promote volunteer innovative activity is outlined. The results of the study can be used by organizations to promote changes aimed at increasing innovative activity.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.32609/0042-8736-2022-9-73-92

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