Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Do Autonomous and Trusting Hospital Employees Generate, Promote, and Implement More Ideas? The role of distributed leadership agency

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Purpose: Employees constitute an important source of innovation in organizations. Innovation management strategies often include attempts of stimulating employees' innovative contribution by instilling managerial trust and granting job autonomy. However, the authors suggest and investigate the role of employees' distributed leadership agency (DLA) in hospital employee-driven innovation. Design/methodology/approach: The authors tested the hypotheses using survey data from 1,536 nonmanagerial employees at a hospital in Denmark. In order to deal with a methodological risk of survey designs, the authors assessed and adjusted the results for common method variance (CMV). Findings: The authors validated a DLA measurement instrument and found an indirect relationship between job autonomy and trust in management on the one hand, via DLA, and with idea generation, promotion and implementation on the other hand. In addition, the results showed a small direct relationship between job autonomy and the three innovative behaviors. The results showed that CMV did bias relationships and reliabilities but only little. Practical implications: The study introduces distributed leadership to the field of innovation management and confirms that this concept is highly relevant for employee innovation. In order to strengthen an organization's innovative potential, leaders may not only need to grant autonomy and instill trust in their employees, but also gain from employee innovation by distributing leadership tasks to employees. Originality/value: This study is one of the first to introduce distributed leadership to the field of employee innovation management. By identifying distributed leadership as a key variable, the findings add to one’s extant understanding of how employee involvement encourages employee innovation.

Translated title of the contributionGenererer, promoverer og implementerer autonome og tillidsfulde hospitalsansatte flere ideer?: Betydningen af distribueret ledelse
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Innovation Management
Pages (from-to)55-72
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

    Research areas

  • Distributed leadership, Employee involvement, Employee-driven innovation, JOB AUTONOMY, CREATIVITY, METHOD VARIANCE, INNOVATION, WORK ENGAGEMENT, CONTEXT

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