How Empowerment and Innovation Climates Influence Employees' Innovative IS Use: The Mediating Role of Thriving

How Empowerment and Innovation Climates Influence Employees' Innovative IS Use: The Mediating Role of Thriving

Yuanyuan Guo (Collaborative Innovation Center for Transport Studies, School of Maritime Economics and Management, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian, China) and Ke Jin (Collaborative Innovation Center for Transport Studies, School of Maritime Economics and Management, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian, China)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJEIS.2019100102

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of empowerment and innovation climates on employees' innovative use of information systems (IS) and the mechanisms through which the climates affect employees' innovative IS use. Drawing on the thriving theory, this study proposes a hierarchical research model that links team-level climates, individual-level thriving, and employees' innovative IS use in an integral model. In total, 174 copies of questionnaires from 38 teams were collected from ERP users of nine firms in China. The empirical results suggest that team innovation climate and team empowerment climate are positively related to innovative IS use. Thriving plays a fully mediating role between team empowerment climate and innovative IS use and a partially mediating role between the team innovation climate and innovative IS use. The findings of this study could provide guidelines for managers on how to promote IS users' innovative use from the perspectives of team climates.
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Introduction

Firms have made huge investments in information systems (IS), as they expected that IS would bring great economic benefits. However, previous research suggests that over 60% of IS implementations result in continuous underutilization, and thus fail to meet expected investment returns (Veiga et al., 2013). An important competitive advantage lies in the extent to which the users apply the most elementary applications in innovative ways that they uncover (Wang et al., 2014; Li et al., 2013). Innovative IS use is suggested to be important in leveraging implemented systems and ameliorating low returns on IS investments (Li et al., 2013; Liang et al., 2015).

Prior research has investigated the influencing factors of IS innovation (Hsieh and Wang, 2007; Li et al., 2013; Liu et al., 2011; Ke et al., 2012). However, by a thorough analysis of the literatures, we found that most of these studies focus on individual factors, such as absorptive ability (Huang et al., 2017; Liu et al., 2011), intrinsic motivation (Li et al., 2013), self-efficiency (Peng et al., 2018; Schmitz et al., 2016) and personal innovation with IT (Schmitz et al., 2016). The attention paid on the impact of environmental factors on IS innovation is limited. In recent years, a few scholars turn their focus to the influence of climate factors on IS exploration behaviour (Maruping and Magni, 2012; Liang et al., 2015). More empirical studies should be conducted to investigate the appropriate climates that could facilitate employees’ innovative use of information systems.

Another gap in the literature concerns the neglect of the mechanisms through which team climate affect employees’ IT/IS usage. Although several studies investigate the impact of team climate on IT exploration (Liang et al., 2015), how team climate influence IT exploration is unexplored. Thus, it is important to conduct empirical investigations of the impact mechanisms of team climate in the IS innovation context.

The objective of this study is to examine the cross-level effects of team climate on IS innovation and the mechanism through which different team climates affect employees’ innovative IS use. Academics in the organisational behaviour research field suggest that an innovation climate (Amabile et al., 1996; Chen et al., 2013) and an empowerment climate (Amabile et al., 1996; Zhang and Bartol, 2010) are conducive to innovation and creativity. In this study, we propose that team innovation climate and team empowerment climate are the two climate factors that positively affect IS users’ innovative use. Carmeli and Spreitzer (2009) suggest that individual thriving is a key factor that facilitates employee innovation, and Paterson et al. (2014) suggest that organisational climate is closely related to employees’ experience of thriving. However, few studies examine the joint effect of thriving and team climate on individual innovation, especially in the context of IS innovation. Based on thriving theory, we propose that individual thriving is the psychological mechanism that translates team climates into employees’ innovative IS use. The findings of this study could provide some guidelines for managers on how to promote employees’ innovative usage of information systems from the team climate perspective and thus achieve the expected returns of information systems.

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