Organizational and group antecedents of workgroup innovativeness in a service industry

Nsenduluka, Evaristo (2008) Organizational and group antecedents of workgroup innovativeness in a service industry. PhD thesis, Victoria Universiry.


This study tests a model of Workgroup Service Innovativeness that proposes that a workgroup’s climate for innovation mediates the relationship between organizational context (using the constructs: Organizational Climate and Task Design) and workgroup context (Group Self-efficacy, Group Citizenship Behaviour, and Market Orientation) on the one hand, and, Workgroup Service Innovativeness on the other. Drawing upon workgroup innovation literature, six hypotheses were derived. Using the hotel industry as an example of a service industry, quantitative data were collected from 303 participants from four hotels in Melbourne, Australia, through a 64-item questionnaire based on established 7-point Likert scales. This was followed by five in-depth interviews with team leaders from the participating hotels to gauge differences on the variables under study between workgroups perceived to be innovative and those perceived to be non-innovative. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation models were employed to test the slightly modified measures’ psychometric properties and test the hypotheses. Except for Organizational Climate, results confirmed the proposed model. But, based on a better data-fitting model, it emerged that the direct impact of Organizational Climate on Workgroup Service Innovativeness is stronger than the hypothesized indirect impact through Workgroup Climate for Innovation. Also, except for Task Design, it appears that the other variables have both direct and indirect effects on Workgroup Service Innovativeness. The qualitative data was generally supportive of the quantitative findings. Several implications for organizational management are explored, including the need for management to convey to all workgroups in the organization that innovation is valued and support is available for workable customer service improvement ideas. They should motivate workgroups to be innovative by focusing on creativity and innovation as important performance outcomes, rather than only on productivity. Overall, management will promote a climate for innovation, by: •Providing an innovation-supportive organizational climate •Jobs high on skill variety, task identity, significance, self-management and feedback •Cultivating group self-efficacy, market orientation and group citizenship behaviours This eventually should not only promote a climate for innovation, but also promote Workgroup Service Innovativeness itself. Among the several limitations of the present research, a major limitation is that it suffers from the common deficiency of cross-sectional designs: the inability to draw causal inferences. Longitudinal studies of the workgroup antecedents of service innovativeness are called for. Finally, the sample in this study was limited to one kind of service industry, the 4-5 star hotel industry, thus limiting generalizability. Clearly it is important to check if the model can hold in other service industry contexts.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Keywords workgroups, innovation, service industries, hotel industry, Melbourne, organizational climate
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