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Job design and innovative work behavior enabling innovation through active or low-strain jobs?


  • De Spiegelaere, Stan
  • Van Gyes, Guy
  • Vandekerckhove, Sem
  • Van Hootegem, Geert


Promoting the innovative potential of employees is a main challenge for HR professionals. Previous studies already stressed the role of job design for employee innovativeness. Building on the work of Karasek & Theorell (1990), we focus on the relation between job design, work engagement and innovative work behaviour (IWB). The results show that job control is positively related to both IWB and work engagement, job demands are negatively related to work engagement, yet their relation to IWB is more ambiguous. Significant interaction effects between job demands and job control variables in both the relation with work engagement and IWB are found, yet their nature differs significantly. We find that active jobs (high control and high demands) are related to lower levels of IWB in comparison to low-strain jobs (high control, low demands), which has major managerial consequences.

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  • De Spiegelaere, Stan & Van Gyes, Guy & Vandekerckhove, Sem & Van Hootegem, Geert, 2012. "Job design and innovative work behavior enabling innovation through active or low-strain jobs?," MPRA Paper 41105, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41105

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. H. De Witte & E. Verhofstadt & E. Omey, 2005. "Testing Karasek’s learning- and strain hypothesis on young workers in their first job," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/326, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    2. Wilmar Schaufeli & Marisa Salanova & Vicente González-romá & Arnold Bakker, 2002. "The Measurement of Engagement and Burnout: A Two Sample Confirmatory Factor Analytic Approach," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 71-92, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. De Spiegelaere, Stan & Van Gyes, Guy & Van Hootegem, Geert, 2012. "Mainstreaming Innovation in Europe. Findings on Employee Innovation and Workplace Learning from Belgium," MPRA Paper 43406, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bordunos, A. & Kokoulina, L. & Ermolaeva, L., 2015. "Role of enterprise gamified system in fostering innovation capacity: A field experiment," Working Papers 6420, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.

    More about this item


    Innovative Work Behavior; Job Design; Time Pressure; Work Engagement; Employee Innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D29 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Other
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles

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