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Contextual work design and employee innovative work behavior: When does autonomy matter?


ABSTRACT: In environments experiencing fast technological change in which innovative performance is expected, work design research has found that the degree of autonomy positively predicts behavioral and attitudinal work outcomes. Because extant work design research has tended to examine the direct and mediating effects of autonomy on work outcomes such as job satisfaction, examinations of more situational elements and the degree to which the organizational context strengthens or weakens this relationship has been neglected. This study, therefore, takes a context-contingent perspective to investigate the degree to which psychological climate dimensions such as supervisor support, organizational structure and organizational innovation moderate the effects of autonomy (work scheduling autonomy, work methods autonomy, decision-making autonomy) on employee perceived innovative work behavior (IWB). Using a conjoint experiment based on 9,440 assessments nested within 1,180 employees, it was found that all autonomy dimensions had a significant direct effect on employee perceived IWB. Contrary to the Hypotheses, the multi-level analysis did not reveal any moderating effect of the climate dimensions on the relationship between autonomy and employee IWB. This study provides a context-contingent view for the features of work design and gives a more detailed analysis of autonomy, which has previously been seen primarily as a unidimensional construct.

SUBMITTER: Theurer CP 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6171839 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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