Research Output
Exploring the development of innovative work behaviour of employees in multiple workplace contexts
  The research reported in this thesis explored the factors that influence the development of innovative work behaviour (i.e. recognition of the need to innovate, idea creation, idea championing and, idea implementation). The study is underpinned by Social Cognitive Theory to encapsulate the multiple relationships that exist between cognitive factors, environmental factors and behavioural factors that enhance innovative work behaviour. A multi methods case study approach was used to gather data and highlight contextual differences that emerged from qualitative and quantitative data collection. This included the use of interviews, focus groups and a questionnaire across three case studies: a Scottish University, a Finnish University and, an English National Health Service Trust.

The findings show that there are three main types of factors that influence innovative work behaviour: (1) information and knowledge related factors (e.g. information literacy, information behaviours, knowledge management and Communities of Practice); (2) contextual factors such as organisational strategy, culture, leadership, training and, access to resources and; (3) the skills and abilities of employees. Information literacy is an initiator of innovative work behaviour and is used to help employees to set context to help them recognise the need to innovate. Information behaviours are specific to each stage and the need to use information. Knowledge sharing enhances innovative work behaviour but requires skills and abilities from employees in terms of social interactions skills to facilitate the knowledge sharing. Organisational culture and leadership interact to help employees at all stages of innovative work behaviour.

A key contribution of this work is that it provides a framework to explain the factors that influence the stages of innovative work behaviour development, which has not been done in prior studies. In addition, it extends the application of the whole of Social Cognitive Theory to information science research on workplace learning and innovative work behaviour. The practical contributions of this work are the recommendations to practitioners. These recommendations include the need to recognise the importance of information literacy in a digital age, the use of interactive information sources, the need to stimulate communication in the workplace and to assess available resources.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    01 July 2020

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Funders:

    Economic and Social Research Council; Skills Development Scotland; Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals


Middleton, L. Exploring the development of innovative work behaviour of employees in multiple workplace contexts. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



innovation; work behaviour; information behaviours; knowledge management; organisational management; leadership; employee skills; Social Cognitive Theory

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