Employees' Innovative Behavior in Social Context: A Closer Examination of the Role of Organizational Care

Yannick P. M. Bammens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A substantial body of research has examined the antecedents of innovation in organizational settings, but our current understanding of how social aspects of the work environment influence the innovative behavior of employees remains underdeveloped. One of these social aspects connected to the theme of “doing well by doing good” concerns organizational care, with scholars examining how actions centered on promoting employee well-being may result in pro-organizational outcomes. The purpose of this study is to present a conceptual analysis of the intricate relationship between organizational care and employees' innovative behavior by detailing key mediating mechanisms and conditional factors. This research will combine insights from multiple theories and literatures, most notably self-determination theory, social exchange theory, and the literatures on organizational care, work motivation, and innovation. The proposed multilevel model clarifies how organizational care affects the creative, complex, and mundane elements of employees' innovative behavior through its effect on the motivational constructs of intrinsic motivation, identified motivation, and introjected obligation feelings, respectively. Moreover, the model highlights the potential dark sides of organizational care that managers must consider when designing and implementing caring policies and practices. Specifically, it clarifies how the effect of organizational care on employees' innovative behavior may depend on their subjective perceptions of care intrusiveness and care insincerity. As such, this study responds to calls for rich and nuanced conceptual research in the innovation field, especially concerning the role of employees' social work environment in motivating their innovative behavior. Important theoretical and practical implications of this conceptual analysis will be discussed, and valuable directions for future research will be outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-259
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

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