Seminar  |  17.11.2021 | 15:00  –  16:15

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Seminar: Members or Mavericks? Organizational Identification Dynamics during Secret Innovation Projects

Anika Stephan-Korus (BMW & HES Fribourg)

Prior management research has provided extensive evidence that organizational members who identify with their organization tend to support its norms and objectives by displaying behaviors that are in-line with or beyond organizational expectations. We question whether this account of observable in-role or extra-role behaviors is complete and study organizational identification dynamics in a series of secret, unauthorized innovation projects (so-called “bootlegging” projects) within a technology-driven multinational firm. In contrast to prior research, our findings suggest that organizational identification may sometimes lead members to deliberately violate organizational norms in a struggle to support their organization. More specifically, we find that organizational identification turns out to simultaneously motivate both overt in-role and secret counter-role behaviors which, at first sight, appear to be conflicting as they both draw on the member’s scarce resources. However, our results reveal that both behaviors really complement each other and thus create an interesting, hitherto unexplored organizational paradox. We then move on to also study how a member’s organizational identification may change when performing the secret innovation project and uncover the critical role of managerial responses for successfully sustaining and strengthening organizational identification of members who are both, loyal members and loose mavericks at the same time. (joint with Philipp Bubenzer)

Ansprechpartner: Rainer Widmann