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Climate for Personal Initiative and Radical and Incremental Innovation in Firms: A Validation Study

Sebastian Fischer (), Michael Frese (), Jennifer Clarissa Mertins, Julia Verena Hardt, Thomas Flock, Juri Schauder, Michael Schmitz and Jette Wiegel
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Sebastian Fischer: Department of Management & Organisation, Leuphana, University of Lüneburg, Scharnhorststraße 1, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany
Jennifer Clarissa Mertins: University of Giessen, Germany
Julia Verena Hardt: University of Giessen, Germany
Thomas Flock: University of Giessen, Germany
Juri Schauder: University of Giessen, Germany
Michael Schmitz: University of Giessen, Germany
Jette Wiegel: University of Giessen, Germany

Journal of Enterprising Culture (JEC), 2014, vol. 22, issue 01, 91-109

Abstract: We examine whether organizational climate for personal initiative (PI climate) is conducive to firm innovation in small and medium-sized firms. Employees with PI are self-starting, proactive, and persistent, and a PI climate is characterized by common norms of encouraging PI at the workplace. A climate that fosters PI among employees would enhance the innovation output of firms, since it increases not only proactive thinking about future opportunities and problems but self-starting action as well. This PI climate is distinct from the team climate inventory (TCI, Anderson and West, 1996). We contrast the PI climate measure (Baer and Frese, 2003) with the TCI for predicting radical and incremental innovations in firms. Findings reveal (with 25 firms,N = 82employees) that PI climate was related to radical innovation, but not incremental innovation. On the other hand, the TCI (unrelated to radical innovation) was related to incremental innovation. Our study results imply that different organizational climates account for the different forms of innovation in firms.

Keywords: Organizational climate; climate for personal initiative; team climate for innovation; radical and incremental innovation; IT firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1142/S0218495814500046

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