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Political skill and role overload as antecedents of innovative work behavior in the public sector

Clarke, Nicholas; Higgs, Malcolm

Authors

Nicholas Clarke

Malcolm Higgs

Abstract

We draw upon the theory of Conservation of Resources (COR) in positing political skill and role overload as influencing perceptions of either resource loss or conservation not previously studied in innovative work behavior. Based on a survey of 249 junior doctors in the United Kingdom, we found that role overload not only had direct positive effects on innovative work behavior but also negatively affects innovative work behavior, mediated through its effects on perceived organizational support. Political skill was positively associated with innovative work behavior, mediated through role-breadth self-efficacy. Our findings support a growing body of literature suggesting that engaging in innovative work behavior is a problem-focused coping strategy to deal with job demands and stressors. Current theorizing that job demands can have positive effects on innovative work behavior needs to be reconsidered given alternative negative effects suggested by COR.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Public Personnel Management
Print ISSN 0091-0260
Electronic ISSN 1945-7421
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation Clarke, N., & Higgs, M. (in press). Political skill and role overload as antecedents of innovative work behavior in the public sector. Public Personnel Management, https://doi.org/10.1177/0091026019863450
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0091026019863450
Keywords Management of Technology and Innovation; Strategy and Management; Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management; Public Administration
Publisher URL https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0091026019863450

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